The University of Virginia's Miller Center and the affiliated National Commission on Financing 21st Century Higher Education on Wednesday released a report making the case for how to best fund increased college credential production in the United States.
The Miller Center in 2014 created the commission with funding from the Lumina Foundation to develop recommendations for long-term, sustainable financial models for higher education. The commission, which was led by a bipartisan group of former lawmakers and college leaders, generated 10 white papers by higher education experts. For example, two of the papers called for more state support of public higher education to go to open-access colleges and need-based aid.
The commission's final report drew from the papers. It included nine recommendations:
- Increase federal and state institutional support;
- Enhance state revenue to support higher education;
- Stimulate the development and implementation of low-cost education delivery models;
- Encourage productivity in the postsecondary system;
- Create incentives for students to graduate on time;
- Help students and their families make better decisions;
- Increase and reform financial aid to target low-income students;
- Develop additional private funding;
- Take advantage of private-sector programs.
"While the U.S. higher education system is still the envy of the world, the nation is clearly at a major crossroads given the increased income inequality and the fact that many workers feel left behind economically," Mike Castle, commission co-chair, former Republican governor of Delaware and former U.S. congressman, said in a written statement. "It is our hope that national and state policy leaders gain valuable insights and policy direction from our work to build stronger federal, state, business and higher education partnerships focused on higher degree and certificate attainment rates."
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