I’m presenting two papers at the annual conference of the Association for Education Finance and Policy (AEFP) this week in San Antonio. Below are short descriptions of the papers that I’ll be presenting, along with information about the time and room location.
“Are Federal Allocations for Campus-Based Financial Aid Programs Equitable and Effective?” (Thursday at 2:45 PM, Conference Room 4, Third Floor)
Abstract: Two federal campus-based financial aid programs, the Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG) and the Federal Work-Study program (FWS), combine to provide nearly $2 billion in funding to students with financial need. However, the allocation formulas have changed little since 1965, resulting in community colleges and newer institutions getting much smaller awards than longstanding private colleges with high costs of attendance. I document the trends in campus-level allocations over the past two decades and explore several different methods to reallocate funds based on current financial need while limiting the influence of high-tuition colleges. I show that allocation formulas that count a modest amount of tuition toward financial need reallocate aid away from private nonprofit colleges and toward public colleges and universities.
“A Longitudinal Analysis of Student Fees: The Roles of States and Institutions” (Saturday at 9:45 AM, Conference Room 12, Third Floor)
Abstract: Student fees are used to finance a growing number of services and programs at colleges and universities, including core academic functions, and make up 20% of the total cost of tuition and fees at the typical four-year public college. Yet little research has been conducted to examine state-level and institutional-level factors that may affect student fee charges. In this paper, I use state-level data on tuition and fee policy, the role of state governments and higher education systems, and partisan political balance combined with institutional-level data on athletics programs and selectivity to create a panel from the 1999-2000 to 2011-12 academic years. I find that some state-level factors that would be expected to reduce student fees, such as fee caps, do reduce fees at four-year public colleges, but giving the legislature authority to set fees results in higher fees. Additional state grant aid and higher-level athletics programs are also associated with higher fees in my primary model.
I welcome any feedback you may have on either of these papers, as they are both preliminary works that still need polishing at the very least. I hope to see you at AEFP!