Although a wide range of candidates and policy organizations have proposed federal-state partnerships to encourage state spending on higher education, these proposals have overwhelmingly focused on affordability alone rather than on a broader agenda that includes student supports that encourage persistence and completion. While affordability remains absolutely critical, we believe that the ultimate goal of federal-state partnership programs should be to increase overall student success rates, which requires looking both at affordability and at a larger set of completion-focused strategies. Here we recommend five tactics that could augment current proposals on affordability partnerships: early notification of eligibility, increased counseling access, increased access to consumer data, expanding student success initiatives, and building an inclusive access to aid. Each is intended to help bridge the gap between conversations about affordability and completion, and to emphasize an overall focus on student success.
Read the complete report: Necessary but Insufficient: Federal-State Affordability Partnerships Must Also Incentivize Completion