Shifting the Burden: Public and Private Financing of Higher Education in the United States and Implications for Europe

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1 EAIR/European Higher Education Society Annual Conference Barcelona, Spain September 6, 2004 Shifting the Burden: Public and Private Financing of Higher Education in the United States and Implications for Europe Donald E. Heller Kimberly R. Rogers

2 American and European Trends in Higher Education College participation and attainment Increasing, but with increasing inequality Economic factors Constrained, or even shrinking, public support A shift in priorities Growing demand Students shut out of higher education In the US, financial barriers prevent 406,000 college- qualified (based on NCES definition) high school graduates from low- and moderate-income families from enrolling in a 4-year 4 institution 168,000 of these are unable to enroll in any type of college 2004, D.E. Heller & K.R. Rogers 2

3 US College participation by income quartile College participation rates of unmarried year olds 2004, D.E. Heller & K.R. Rogers College Board, Trends in College Pricing 3

4 The Americanization of British Student Financial Aid Decrease in State support in real terms Higher levels of participation among young adults and its toll on elitism in university Higher student-to to-faculty ratios Departmental and program closures Pressures on physical structures Britain s Higher Education Bill Proposed in January 2003 Would increase tuition/fees by 167 percent, from $2,050/year to $5,475/year in September 2006 Repayment is contingent upon income 2004, D.E. Heller & K.R. Rogers 4

5 Shifting the Burden in the United States Federal student aid programs Grants Abolition of Social Security Student Benefit Program in 1982 Loss of purchasing power of the Pell grant Less intensive targeting of grants to low-income students Loans In 1980, one-third of all aid was in the form of loans. By 2003, this had risen to 54 percent. Increasing reliance on loans linked to college wage premium State programs Reduced commitment to funding higher education Tuition increases result from lack of state support More emphasis on merit-based aid 2004, D.E. Heller & K.R. Rogers 5

6 Share of current fund revenues in public institutions 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% State & Local Approp. Tuition & Fees Federal Govt. 2004, D.E. Heller & K.R. Rogers Heller, forthcoming 6

7 The growth and shift in financial aid $120 90% Billions (2003 $) $100 $80 $60 $40 $20 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% Share of Total Aid / Pell % of Public 4-yr COA $ * 1996** % *Increase in loan limits Constant $ Loans Grants Pell **Inclusion of private loans 2004, D.E. Heller & K.R. Rogers College Board 7

8 Middle class melt? Enrollment by sector for income quintiles, 1993 & % 50% 40% Community Colleges Public 4-yr Private 4-yr 49% % 36% 33% 30% 20% 19% 10% 11% 0% Bottom 2nd 3rd 4th Top Bottom 2nd 3rd 4th Top 2004, D.E. Heller & K.R. Rogers Dependent students Authors calculations from NPSAS 8

9 State merit scholarship programs 24% of state grant dollars in merit (no-need) need) aid, over $1 billion Georgia HOPE started trend in 1993, currently largest merit aid program ($357M last year), larger than total aid spending by every state other than CA, IL, and NY Three primary policy rationales for merit programs: Encourage and/or reward academic work Stanch brain drain Promote college access and attainment 2004, D.E. Heller & K.R. Rogers 9

10 Background Michigan Merit Award Created in 1999; first awarded to graduating class of 2000 Funded by tobacco settlement revenues One-time scholarship - $2,500 for in-state school, $1,000 out-of of- state Award based on students scores on the MEAP, the state s 11 th grade curriculum frameworks test (four areas: reading, writing, math, science) Research Design First three eligible high school classes ( ) Unit record data from all MEAP test-takers takers in Michigan Michigan Department of Education school-level level data Bivariate analyses 2004, D.E. Heller & K.R. Rogers 10

11 Race and cohort effects Proportion of students taking at least one MEAP section qualifying Native American Asian/Pacific Islander African American Hispanic White Other* All Students 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% * Other race, multiracial, and unknown , D.E. Heller & K.R. Rogers 11

12 School income and cohort effects Proportion of students taking at least one MEAP section qualifying School free/reduced lunch quintile First (lowest %) Second Third Fourth Fifth (highest %) Missing* 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% * Private schools and home schooled , D.E. Heller & K.R. Rogers 12

13 Merit aid impact on college access Harvard Civil Rights Project report, August 2002 Georgia: Over 90% of expenditures on HOPE went to students who would have attended college anyway; program increased the gap in college participation between white and African-American American students Florida and Michigan: Grants awarded dis- proportionately to racial majority students and students in wealthier communities (those with higher participation rates) New Mexico: No impact on access; did shift some students from 2-year 2 to 4-year 4 institutions. 80% of recipients were from families with income >$40,000 per year, above the state s median income of $38, , D.E. Heller & K.R. Rogers 13

14 Comparing states Proportion of students qualifying for merit scholarships White Black Hispanic Asian American Other 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% Tennessee Florida Michigan 2004, D.E. Heller & K.R. Rogers 14

15 Conclusions and Implications for Europe As the price of higher education rises, poorer students and students of colour are likely to encounter barriers to participation European countries should look at American financial aid policy and the consequences of rising college costs on educational equity before instituting higher tuition/fees Higher levels of student loan debt Creation of an institutional hierarchy Increasing racial and socioeconomic stratification Political pressure may give rise to certain financial aid programs, such as merit aid, which have proven themselves ineffective to help participation rates of low- income students 2004, D.E. Heller & K.R. Rogers 15

16 Website , D.E. Heller & K.R. Rogers 16

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