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National Postsecondary Student Aid Study, Several of the issues that Congress asked the Commission to address point to potential explanations for rising college costs with the assumption that rising costs result in rising prices. The "cost drivers" that the Commission reviewed can be grouped into six categories: The Commission reviewed a number of studies on the connection between student financial aid in public and private non-profit institutions of higher education and costs and prices, and it commissioned two analyses of its own.
Figure 3 describes the major programs of Federal student aid grants and work-study, loans, and newly-enacted tax incentives. The Commission finds no evidence to suggest any relationship between the availability of Federal grants and the costs or prices in these institutions.
Less than one student in four receives a Federal grant, which pays for less than 10 percent of the total price of attendance in either sector. The Commission has found no conclusive evidence that loans have contributed to rising costs and prices.
One commissioned paper suggests that Federal loan availability has helped contribute to rising prices. Another paper suggests that the capital available through loans has allowed colleges to increase their charges and allowed independent colleges in particular to maintain enrollment in ways that would not have been possible otherwise.
The Commission knows of other studies which come to conclusions opposite to these. This question should be studied in greater detail and with much greater attention to empirical facts.
The members of the Commission are, however, unanimously concerned about sharp increases in student borrowing. What is unclear is whether these increases have occurred because 1 higher loan limits and the new "un-subsidized" program permit more borrowing; 2 more families are choosing to finance college expenses through loans rather than from savings or current income; or 3 the price of attending higher education has increased.
The Commission's judgment is that all three factors are probably involved. Finally, the Commission looked at the relationship between institutional financial aid and increases in student prices. In this instance, there is slightly stronger evidence that increases in institutional aid have been one of the cost and price drivers, as institutional aid grew by percent between and Since most of the revenue for institutional aid comes from tuition dollars, it seems reasonable to conclude that tuitions could have increased slightly less had institutions not been putting these revenues into institutional aid.
At the same time, however, had institutions not generated revenue to pay for institutional aid, student borrowing would have had to increase to maintain access, or access would have had to diminish.
Figure 3 The Complex Picture of Student Financial Aid The major Federal programs providing financial assistance to students can be thought of in three categories: Most of these are directed to low- and middle-income students with financial need.
The Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant Program provides additional grant aid to students from extremely low-Income families.
The Federal Work Study Program helps to pay for jobs on- and off-campus as part of need-based financial aid packages. Unlike the Pell and supplemental grant programs, which are available only to undergraduate students, Federal Work Study aid also assists graduate and professional students.
Loan Programs A variety of loan programs, many with interest subsidized and deferred, exist to help cover college costs for undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. Perkins Loan funds, which are a combination of Federal and institutional capital contributions, are administered on campus.
Additional loan capital is generated as collections on prior loans are deposited into the institution's revolving fund. Stafford Loans are available to students from all income levels. Students who demonstrate financial need are eligible for interest subsidies; students who do not demonstrate need, while not eligible for interest subsidies, may defer loan and interest payments while in school and under certain other circumstances.
PLUS Loans provide assistance to parents of students of dependent undergraduate students in an amount up to the cost of college attendance less other financial aid. Ford Direct Loan Program. To encourage lifelong learning, the credit is also available to working Americans.
The credit, effective after July 1,is phased out at the same income levels as the Hope Scholarship. Unlike the Hope Scholarship, the Lifetime Learning Credit is calculated on a per family, rather than a per student, basis. Education and Retirement Savings Accounts allow penalty-free IRA withdrawals for undergraduate and graduate programs and postsecondary vocational programs.
Three groups of people are associated with higher education costs:Report of the World Commission on Environment and Development: Our Common Future Table of Contents Acronyms and Note on Terminology Chairman's Foreword.
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