White Paper Details Policy Recommendations on Financial Aid

White Paper Details Policy Recommendations on Financial Aid

January 10, 2013

The Institute for Higher Education Policy (IHEP) released a paper earlier this month detailing numerous federal policy changes and initiatives that might alleviate the debt burden of student borrowers while promoting retention and graduation rates.

The white paper, "Making Sense of the System," outlines 13 broad policy recommendations, making the case for some new reforms while reasserting the effectiveness of other programs, such as Pell Grants. 

Some newer ideas include encouraging families to establish college savings funds early on with matching contributions by the federal government. The authors also suggest incentivizing some of the federal loan programs to actively encourage graduation and high performance.

The paper also reaffirms a number of current policies, notably maintaining the Pell Grant, but making it an entitlement to low-income families so that its benefits become more clear and accessible. The authors also recommend making income-based repayment plans the default option of loan repayment.

The proposed changes were made with the current goals of financial aid programs in mind “ to increase access to institutions of higher learning while reducing the overall cost of attaining a degree. In the interest of thoroughness, the final section of the paper details the interplay between the new policy initiatives and current ones within the existing framework of federal financial aid, with particular concern placed on how they could help and hurt.



Related Links:

The Institute for Higher Education Policy


The Chronicle of Higher Education


Michael Sisson

Government Relations