Although state financial aid programs can be powerful policy tools to defray the increasingly burdensome costs of college, many states' financial aid programs are not in alignment with strategic postsecondary education policy goals, according to a new report from the Education Commission of the States (ECS).

The report, State Financial Aid: Applying redesign principles through state engagement, examines a variety of state-level projects intended to redesign state financial aid and shares lessons learned from those efforts.

During the past two years, ECS supported states as they developed more strategic approaches to financial aid policy design, notes author Sarah Pingel, Ed.D.,...

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