A new 100-page report featuring six papers from the Institute for College Access and Success explores how the federal government can partner with states to make college debt-free for all students.
“The goal of these papers is not to establish the definitive, optimal way to design a path to debt-free college,” the report’s introduction states. “Rather, they are meant to inform the policy conversation about how to most effectively and equitably address the ongoing crisis of high costs, high debt burdens, and decreasing confidence in the value of higher education.
Collectively, the papers are aimed at informing the public policy conversation about how the federal government can partner with states, local governments and colleges to support universal and open access to a variety of postsecondary programs, according to the report.
The papers delve into how higher education is currently financed and the different federal-state funding partnership proposals, including free college programs. Researchers also looked at the role data, faculty and research universities can play in discussions about student outcomes and college affordability.
“To build a debt-free future for all students, the federal government and states must work together,” TICAS president Sameer Gadkaree said in a statement. “We hope this compendium will guide policymakers as they work to address the root causes of the student debt crisis by lowering college costs and providing sufficient grant aid so that students do not need to take on unmanageable debt to earn a degree.”