Change the College Affordability Rhetoric by Putting Students First*

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Sometimes, there’s nothing more helpful than a change in perspective. The Lumina Foundation, “an independent, private foundation committed to increasing the proportion of Americans with high-quality degrees, certificates and other credentials to 60 percent by 2025,” offers a new way of looking at college affordability in a report entitled, “A Benchmark for Making College Affordable: The Rule of 10.” Allie Bidwell, Communications Staff writer for the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) takes a look at the recently published proposal in her blog post “Change the College Affordability Rhetoric by Putting Students First.”

According to Jamie Merisotis, President and CEO of the Lumina Foundation, this benchmark report ”is designed to reset the national dialogue…by providing a clear, concrete definition of what ‘affordability’ means for today’s students and families.” The report describes “The Rule of 10” as follows: “Students should pay no more for college than the savings generated through 10 percent of discretionary income for 10 years and the earnings from working 10 hours a week while in school,” Ideally, such a program would help students earn a degree without taking on debt.

Bidwell offers examples taken from the report to illustrate the ramification of the Rule of 10 for adult students, a single parent with one child, and more.

To read the complete NASFAA article* click here. For a direct link to the PDF of the Lumina Foundation report click here.

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