Paying For College: What Is Affordable?

Paying For College: What Is Affordable? Urban Institute. Sandy Baum, Victoria Lee. April 7, 2017

Rising concerns over college prices and student debt suggest that college is unaffordable for many people. But a more meaningful question is whether particular college options are worth it for individual students. This brief, along with a new Urban Institute website, outlines the many factors that shed light on the issue of college affordability, including prices of different college paths and the resources that institutions, governments, and students from different backgrounds draw on to cover their expenses. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 6 pages, 164.06 KB].


From Baumol’s Cost Disease to Moore’s Law: The Transformation of Higher Education

From Baumol’s Cost Disease to Moore’s Law: The Transformation of Higher Education. American Enterprise Institute. Anya Kamenetz. August 2, 2012.

The paper sketches out the imperative to dramatically reduce the cost of providing postsecondary education, using data on college spending and costs, student debt, and state support of higher education to make the case that the current model is not sustainable. It emphasizes the consequences of continued cost increases for higher education access and sets the stage for what in the other conference papers: the need and possibility for radical solutions to the college cost problem, including the wholesale overhaul of existing colleges and universities and the development of new markets and organizational models that break the higher education experience down into components that can be customized and reassembled by students into affordable experiences and credentials that fit their specific needs. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 33 pages, 192.52 KB].