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Cost of Attendance Report for 1997

Conclusions and Recommendations

Clearly, these trends indicate that college affordability in Connecticut has eroded significantly over the last eight years and will continue to decline unless decisive action is taken. The following recommendations provide a starting point for discussions by state policy-makers on how to ensure college remains an affordable opportunity for our state residents.

  1. The state should increase the amount it invests in student financial assistance. While several tax credit and deduction proposals are on the table at the federal level, many within higher education recognize that these proposals will do little to help our most needy students or middle class families that are strapped for cash.
  2. Investment of financial aid should serve the twin goals of putting choice in the hands of students and addressing the need to educate students at all income levels.
  3. The state should consider whether at least a portion of limited student aid funds should be targeted to students most likely to benefit from higher education (i.e. those who graduate in top 30 percent of high school class, for example). In this regard, it may want to consider expanding its Capitol Scholarship Program and limit its application to students who choose in-state colleges.
  4. The state should encourage families to begin saving early for college. The state should consider taking advantage of recent changes in the federal tax code and creating state college savings program.
  5. State policy-makers must examine ways to control the growth in the cost of higher education.
    • Such an examination should include a careful review of the drivers of educational costs, particularly in the area of salary and compensation levels. Comparisons to institutions of similar mission and size might be appropriate in this regard.
    • The discussion also should recognize the up-front costs of new technological developments, how those improvements should be financed and the potential cost benefits.
    • A re-examination of our current public system organization with 24 separate institutions and branches should not be excluded.
    • Evaluation also should be made of "time to degree" issues which create increased cost both to the consumer and to the state.
  6. State policy-makers should identify state priorities for academic programming and direct constituent units to support attainment of these through reallocation as well as through new investment.
  7. The Board of Governors, in conjunction with state policy-makers, should review its current student/state share tuition policy with the goal of gaining consensus on an appropriate balance between state and student support.
  8. The current allocation formula for the Connecticut Aid to Public College Students Program should be re-examined to ensure these funds are directed to those with the greatest need.

Table of Contents

Introduction
Trends and Challenges
Who Are Our Students?
How Much Does It Cost to Go to College in Connecticut?
Can Connecticut Students Afford to Pay?
How Does Financial Aid Work?
Are Our Colleges Able to Meet Need?
Are Connecticut Public Colleges Affordable?  
Conclusions and Recommendations

End Notes  
Attachment A

Attachment B
Attachment C
Attachment D
Attachment E 


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