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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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
Table of Contents
Are Our Students?
Much Does It Cost to Go to College in Connecticut?
Connecticut Students Afford to Pay?
How Does Financial Aid Work?
Are Our Colleges
Able to Meet Need?
Connecticut Public Colleges Affordable?