Means Testing: Is It Viable in Eastern and Southern AfricaReportar como inadecuado

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In developing and transition countries, such as those of Eastern and Southern Africa, higher education plays a significant and growing role. The most economically efficient way for the country to benefit is to queue up persons of higher education entry age in order of their academic preparation or ability to benefit from higher education. Some of these candidates will not be able to pay the required tuition fees. The viability of a cost sharing/revenue diversifying regime depends on distinguishing those who can pay from those who cannot. Means testing is the method for determining who can pay, and the portion they can pay. Means testing can consider the contribution the student's family can pay as well as what the student can pay. In developing countries there are obstacles to collecting and verifying such information, and the questionnaire methodology useful in some countries may be less so in others. An alternative is to use social indicators to distinguish those who can pay from those who cannot. There are practical problems in reviewing the social indicators of an applicant or his or her family, but data can, in some cases, be verified from public records. In any case, it may be very difficult to do means testing in a developing country. Other methods of increasing revenues for higher education must also be sought. Turning first to increasing tuition and fees may prove both unfair and impractical. (SLD)

Descriptors: Developing Nations, Family Financial Resources, Foreign Countries, Higher Education, Paying for College, Social Characteristics, Student Costs, Student Financial Aid, Tuition

Autor: Merisotis, Jamie; Wolanin, Thomas


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