Sunday, March 6, 2011

Are college costs a major problem?

David Leonhardt, economic columnist of The New York Times, published a post in his Economix blog last month stating that "College Costs Aren't the Main Problem" facing higher education.  While we could all have a nice debate about what the major problem facing American higher education is, I took issue with one thing Leonhardt said.  His post implied that there was plenty of financial aid out there, the problem was just that poor students didn't know how to apply for it.

I wrote to him, taking issue with that statement, and pointing to some research I have done with my Penn State colleague John Cheslock and our graduate assistants Rodney Hughes and Rachel Frick Cardelle.  That research demonstrates that students from low- and moderate-income families face large amounts of unmet need, i.e., the gap between their resources and grants they receive, and what it costs them to attend college.  You can read a summary of what I wrote to Leonhardt, along with his response.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for speaking for the families that I work with. We actively tell students in our program NOT to come to PSU for the reasons you mention, even though the program is sponsored by PSU. Strange, but true.