Integrating Higher Education Financial Aid and Financing Policy: Case Studies from the Changing Direction Technical Assistance StatesReport as inadecuate

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Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education

Throughout the end of the 1990s and the early years of the current decade, states experienced severe downturns in their economies. As has happened during other recessions, higher education, often viewed as discretionary spending compared to other budget demands, was hit particularly hard. During these years of severe fiscal constraints, however, a growing recognition of the interrelated nature of appropriations, financial aid, and tuition policy emerged. Decision makers also recognized that policy related to these issues was rarely aligned. In fact, policy decisions on these matters have historically been made by different decision makers at different times and with different agendas and perspectives in mind. Resulting decisions have not always been in the best interest of students. In 2001 Lumina Foundation for Education awarded the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) a grant to work with state policymakers to integrate higher education appropriations, tuition, and financial aid policy. "Changing Direction: Integrating Higher Education Financial Aid and Financing Policy" works to foster better, more informed decision making on issues related to higher education financial aid and financing in order to increase access and success for all students. As part of this program, WICHE and its partner organizations worked with cohorts of states to provide technical assistance related to these issues. To document the progress in the states, a case study author was assigned to each state to observe the state's work and to write a case study report and analysis. This publication is a compilation of the case study reports of the second and third cohorts of states (California, Hawaii, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Washington). It also includes an update on the first cohort (Arizona, Connecticut, Florida, Missouri, and Oregon). Each case study includes a description of the policy context, state actions, and observations. Five appendixes are included: (1) Changing Direction: Hawaii Roundtable Participants (September 29, 2004); (2) Summary of Recommendations from the Noel-Levitz Analysis of Scholarship and Financial Aid Programs for the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education; (3) Tennessee Higher Education Commission Master Plan Taskforce: 2005-2010 Planning Cycle; (4) Tennessee Higher Education Commission Performance Funding Taskforce: 2005-2010 Performance Funding Cycle; and (5) Tennessee Higher Education Commission Funding Formula Taskforce (Formula Review Committee): 2005-2010 Planning Cycle. (Contains 2 endnotes, 1 figure, and 2 tables.) [For report of the first cohorts, see ED500813.]

Descriptors: Funding Formulas, Higher Education, Case Studies, Master Plans, Technical Assistance, Tuition, Student Financial Aid, Agency Cooperation, Educational Attainment, Educational Finance, Educational Policy, Federal Aid, State Aid, Public Policy, Politics of Education

Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education. P.O. Box 9752, Boulder, CO 80301-9752. Tel: 303-541-0200; Fax: 303-541-0291; Web site:

Author: Bell, Julie Davis; Blanco, Cheryl D.; Conger, Sharmila Basu; Lingenfelter, Paul E.; Michelau, Demaree K.; Wright, David L.


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