Federal-State Partnerships for College Affordability

October 3, 2019

In a report released Wednesday, the Institute for College Access and Success proposed a framework for a federal-state partnership to increase college affordability.

The report argued that federal funding should go to states to add to overall investment in higher education. But that funding should be contingent on maintenance-of-effort requirements for states, the report said. TICAS also argued the plan should include an automatic stabilizer provision to ensure higher ed funding does not suffer during recessions. And the group said new federal funds should be attached to requirements for states to assess funding inequities for racial and socioeconomic groups, and to develop strategies to address those inequities.

Senator Patty Murray, the ranking Democrat on the Senate education committee, called for new coordination between the federal government and states to address college affordability in a speech outlining her priorities for a reauthorization of the Higher Education Act. Higher ed organizations previously have backed the idea, arguing it would help reverse state disinvestment. Free college and debt-free college proposals from Democratic lawmakers also have included state matching requirements.

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