Closing the affordability gap at Hocking College

 [Editor’s note: This post originally appeared on the AACC 21st Century Center.]

The path to affordability looks different from institution to institution. At last fall’s EDUCAUSE annual meeting in Denver, Colo., Betty Young, president of Hocking College in Ohio, spoke on her vision for bringing affordable course materials to students. Passionate about arming her students for their careers but not driving them deeper into debt, Young is launching an all-inclusive pricing model for students at Hocking where full-time students will pay just $300 per semester for all course materials starting fall 2019. I recently sat down with Young to share her insight and best practices with fellow community college leaders.

Shannon Moore-Zuffoletto (SMZ): Higher education has come under criticism on multiple fronts in recent years: on affordability (rising prices/student debt), outcomes (whether students are emerging with the skills that employers want), access (whether elite colleges are enrolling enough low-income students), lack of respect for multiple viewpoints, etc. Which of these, if any, do you consider to be the most legitimate critique, and which one troubles you the most?…Read More

Three colleges that benefit siblings, families

Some colleges offer discounts for siblings that attend the same college concurrently.

As college costs continue to skyrocket, American families are finding it increasingly challenging to pay for college for a single child, much less multiple college-age children simultaneously.

According to a recent College Board study, the median cost for a year at a public four-year higher education institution is $8,672; a year at a private nonprofit four-year institution is $30,200.

But parents of multiple college-age children soon might find a bonus in having two children enrolled in higher education: A growing number of schools are beginning to offer discounts for siblings who are enrolled in the same schools.…Read More

Experts suggest ways to lower college costs

Panelists agreed that higher education must become more affordable and attainable.

Simplifying the student aid process, requiring colleges to share in the risk from student loan defaults, and using technology to keep costs down were some of the ideas discussed at a recent summit addressing college costs.

Higher education must become more affordable, accessible, and attainable if the United States hopes to increase its global competitiveness, said a group of policy specialists, government officials, and higher-education stakeholders at the College Savings Foundation’s 2012 Summit, a gathering to address the ever-increasing college cost conundrum.

“What you do in policy depends on what you think the underlying factors are,” said Art Hauptman, a public policy consultant who specializes in higher-education finances. “Is this a cost-push or a demand-pull inflation?”…Read More

Obama unveils plan to stem rising college tuition costs

Some question whether it's the federal government's place to interfere with college tuition practices.

President Barack Obama is announcing a plan to shift some federal dollars away from colleges and universities that don’t control tuition costs and new competitions in higher education to encourage efficiency as part of an effort to contain soaring college costs.

Obama will spell out his plans Jan. 27 at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. The speech will cap a three-day post-State of the Union trip by the president to promote different components of his economic agenda in politically important states.

On Jan. 24 during his State of the Union address, Obama put colleges and universities on notice to control tuition costs or face losing federal dollars. That’s had the higher-education community nervous that he could set a new precedent in the federal government’s role in controlling the rising costs of college.…Read More

College net price calculators might not paint complete picture

There is a fear that students might be scared away if the questions are too complex or numerous.

When the annual college search season gets under way this fall, parents and students will have a new tool at their disposal.

By the end of October, the nation’s colleges and universities will be offering net price calculators on their websites, providing an easier way to compare college costs from one school to the next. At least, that’s the goal of the federal law requiring the calculators.

Most higher-education experts like the idea behind the new rule, which should give students and families a better idea of college costs much earlier in the game. But they also see potential for problems with the fledgling rule.…Read More