School Finance

  • Young woman saving for her education, photo by andresr/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Income Share Agreements: What's Risky, What's Promising, and What We Still Need to Know

    While policymakers debate options to address college affordability and the nation's mounting student loan debt, an alternative education financing model has been gaining ground in a handful of schools and state legislatures: the income share agreement. While terms vary from institution to institution, they are all based on the same premise: The more income a graduate makes, the more they will pay back.

    Jun 5, 2019

  • University students walking on campus road

    Testimony

    Five Options for Long-Term Sustainability of Pennsylvania's State System Universities

    Pennsylvania's State System of Higher Education faces significant challenges to its long-term sustainability, including population shifts and limited state funding. There are options to address these issues and avoid closures, but major structural changes will be needed.

    Apr 25, 2018

  • College students in a lecture hall

    Report

    Sustaining Pennsylvania's State System Universities

    The Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education is facing considerable challenges, such as demographic shifts, limited state funding, and strong competition. Options are available to address the system's long-term sustainability and viability, but major changes would be needed.

    Apr 25, 2018

  • Graduates tossing their mortarboards in the air

    Commentary

    Is College Worth the Expense? Yes, It Is

    Many American students struggle with the soaring cost of higher education. And for many college students, debt can have severe negative implications. But on balance, the benefits of a college degree appear to outweigh the costs.

    May 22, 2017

  • A boy in preschool playing with building blocks with classmates

    Research Brief

    Building Blocks for Expanding High-Quality Preschool

    Cincinnati is seeking to expand preschool programs to more children. A number of approaches would likely provide returns on investment, but it is important to ensure programs are high-quality.

    Dec 12, 2016

  • Report

    Cost Analysis of an Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Program In-School Model Site

    This report analyzes the costs to implement the Children's Aid Society's Carrera Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Program in-school model for one year for 880 students at one school district in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

    Aug 30, 2016

  • Three college students walking to class

    Commentary

    The High Cost of Free College

    Tuition subsidies may encourage institutions to raise tuition, since the government would foot the bill. One possible solution: develop and implement policies that encourage greater productivity from higher education institutions.

    Aug 1, 2016

  • Jar with "college" label and money

    Commentary

    Reframing the 'Free College' Debate

    Free college may make for a terrific sound bite on the campaign trail, but it rings hollow. Framing the future of college as a debate about whether it should be free is a lost opportunity to discuss what's really wrong with higher education in America—and a missed chance to help young Americans regain lost competitiveness in the workforce.

    Apr 14, 2016

  • News Release

    High-Quality, Full-Scale Preschool Programs Boost School Readiness and Produce Sustained Benefits

    The investment in high-quality preschool programs may be paid back through improved outcomes during the school-age years and beyond. In addition to school readiness, they produce long-term benefits like lower rates of special education use, reduced grade repetition, and higher high school graduation rates.

    Mar 11, 2016

  • Preschool students and a teacher building a tower with blocks

    Report

    High-Quality, Full-Scale Preschool Programs Boost School Readiness and Produce Sustained Benefits

    The investment in high-quality preschool may be paid back through improved outcomes during the school-age years and beyond. In addition to school readiness, they produce long-term benefits like lower rates of special education use, reduced grade repetition, and higher high school graduation rates.

    Mar 11, 2016

  • College student discussing assignment with tutor

    Commentary

    The Shared Savings Model: An Innovative Way to Attack Rapidly Rising College Costs

    The challenge facing policymakers is how to lessen the college cost pressure felt by families while incentivizing institutions to innovate to reduce cost and improve quality. What if cost savings from increased productivity were quantified and a portion returned to institutions?

    Oct 22, 2015

  • College students taking notes in a classroom

    Commentary

    Cost of College in the United States

    For middle- to lower-income families in the U.S., in particular, the costs associated with attending a four-year university are becoming nearly impossible to bear. More and more students are ending up with significant debt after graduating from college, putting financial pressure on them at the outset of their professional careers.

    Jan 16, 2015

  • University building with columns

    Commentary

    College Ratings and Affordable Education

    There are reasons to believe American students from the middle- and lower-income tiers aren't making affordable college choices. Can a new ratings system help them make better, more affordable decisions?

    Dec 24, 2014

  • Man proposing to a surprised woman with a ring

    Commentary

    Are Youth Putting Off Marriage Because of Their Student Loan Debt?

    Women with higher loan balances may be less likely to get married than their peers with lower or no loan balances. But as time goes on, young adults adjust to their post-college financial situation and eventually get promotions, earn raises, obtain other assets, and get married.

    Jun 26, 2014

  • college students having a lesson in a lecture hall

    Commentary

    Making Colleges More Affordable

    President Obama has released a plan to make colleges more affordable for the middle class. The plan calls for linking federal student aid to college performance, capping student loans at 10% of income, and incentivizing innovative instructional approaches to cut costs and improve quality.

    Aug 26, 2013

  • college students in a classroom

    Commentary

    Preserving Access and Quality in an Era of Rising University Tuition Fees

    State financing of higher education is under stress as countries all over the world struggle with fiscal pressures. Researchers review a number of cost-sharing policies that can be adopted and how they may affect access to and the quality of education.

    Sep 28, 2012

  • Report

    How Effective is Schooling? A Critical Review and Synthesis of Research Findings

    Analyzes and summarizes educational research for the President's Commission on School Finance under the input-output, process, organizational, evaluation, and experiential approaches.

    Jan 1, 1972

  • Content

    Tara Laila Blagg

    Assistant Policy Researcher, RAND; Ph.D. Candidate, Pardee RAND Graduate School
    Education M.S.W., University of Houston; B.A. in hispanic studies, Rice University