All posts by Eric Kelderman


U. of North Texas Offers Fixed-Rate Tuition, With a Twist

Many colleges have fixed-rate tuition plans that lock in a student’s course costs for four years. In Texas that kind of policy is now a requirement for public colleges and universities.

But not all undergraduate students graduate in four years, adding to the time and cost it takes to earn a degree. The University of North Texas has come up with a plan that offers both fixed-rate tuition and an incentive for students to finish their degrees on time.

The “Eagle Express” plan, as it is being called…


Another Report Describes Shrinking Amount of State Money for Higher Ed

While increased federal spending for higher education faces an uphill battle in Congress, pressure is mounting from Democrats in Washington, D.C., to raise state appropriations for higher education.

A report released on Thursday by the liberal-leaning group Demos is just the latest to detail the growing cost of tuition at public colleges, along with the shrinking amount of money that state governments provide to those institutions.

Per-student state spending on public higher education shrank nea…


Report Proposes Federal Matching Grants for State Higher Education

As Congress begins debating the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act, proposals to change how public colleges get their federal money are starting to pop up.

On Wednesday, the American Association of State Colleges and Universities released a report recommending a new federal block grant to the states for higher education. The goal of the proposed program is to give states some incentive to preserve and even raise the amount they spend on colleges, which has been in decline, and also to s…


U.S. Income-Based Repayment Plan May Be the ‘Best Deal’ for Borrowers

Washington — Two panel discussions here on Friday, hosted by the New America Foundation, delved into some of the new ways being proposed to ameliorate the thorny problem of student-loan debt. One existing solution, the federal government’s income-based repayment plan, wasn’t mentioned until afterward, but then it received a qualified endorsement.

The first panel included entrepreneurs from organizations that use private investors’ money to pay college students’ costs of attendance in return for …


Performance-Based Appropriations May Not Sway Student Outcomes

President Obama has suggested that the federal government start awarding money to colleges based on their academic performance. But national policy makers should  keep in mind that such a system hasn’t completely worked at the state level, according to the recommendations of a new report.

States have been experimenting with allotting small percentages of their higher-education appropriations based on performance since Tennessee started the practice, in 1978, notes the report, from the Education …


Ashland U. Slashes Tuition by 37%

Ashland University, a private institution in Ohio, is joining a small but growing group of colleges that have sharply cut their tuition while also reducing the amount of institutional aid they offer, to come up with a sticker price that’s closer to what students actually pay. That strategy is one of many that smaller institutions are exploring to try to ease concerns about college costs and shore up enrollments.

Instead of being charged an estimated $30,000 for the 2014-15 academic year, the rou…


Moody’s Report Forecasts a Gloomy Future for Public Universities

Things were supposed to get better after the 2012 fiscal year, the year that colleges fell off the “cliff” created as federal stimulus money for higher education ran out and state appropriations had yet to recover.

Instead, 2012 was just foreshadowing the difficult financial future that public colleges will continue to face, according to a new report from Moody’s Investors Service, a bond-rating company.

Moody’s analysis of median fiscal data from 2012 show that enrollment at public colleges was…


Economists Accuse Private Colleges of ‘Gaming’ Federal Aid Policies

Increases in the maximum Pell Grant award give private colleges a good reason to raise tuition, concludes a research paper published by the National Bureau of Economic Research.

By giving aid directly to students, rather than subsidizing institutions, the federal government “provides some potentially undesirable incentives for private colleges to ‘game the system,’ strategically increasing tuition to increase student aid,” the study says. The money those colleges bring in through higher tuition …


Large Share of Higher-Ed Business Officers Plan to Retire Soon

About 40 percent of chief business officers at colleges and universities plan to make retirement their next career move, and more than a third expect to retire within four years, according to the results of a survey released on Thursday by the National Association of College and University Business Officers.

The turnover is due largely to age. The typical chief business officer at a college is a married white man, 56 years old, who has worked at his institution for about eight years, according t…


To Attract Students, Experts Say, Persistence Pays

Indianapolis — Some parents and prospective students might be annoyed by the seemingly endless stream of postcards and e-mails they get from colleges hoping to persuade them to apply.

But those efforts aren’t likely to stop anytime soon, a panel of admissions professionals told an audience here on Monday during a session at the annual meeting of the National Association of College and University Business Officers.

“As much as everyone says they want to be left alone, they don’t,” said Ned Jones,…