The States and Public Higher Education Policy: Affordability, Access, and Accountability

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Donald E. Heller
JHU Press, Oct 23, 2013 - Education - 288 pages
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Affordability, access, and accountability have long been among the central challenges facing higher education—and they remain so today. Here, Donald E. Heller and other higher education scholars and practitioners explore the current debates surrounding these key issues.

As students and their families struggle to meet rising tuition prices, and as state funding for higher education dwindles, policymakers confront issues of affordability within state and institutional budgets. Changing demographics and challenges to affirmative action complicate the admissions process even as colleges and universities seek to diversify enrollments. And issues of institutional accountability have forced the restructuring of higher education governing boards and a reexamination of the role of public trustees in governance.

This collection analyzes how issues of affordability, access, and accountability influence the way in which state governments approach, monitor, and set public higher education policy. The contributors examine the latest research on pressing challenges, explore how states are coping with these challenges, and consider what the future holds for public postsecondary education in the United States.


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Affordability Access and Accountability in Twentyfirst Century Public Higher Education
The Contradiction of Increasing Prices and Increasing Enrollment
Measures of College Affordability
Changes in Affordability of Public Colleges and Universities
Reconciling Rising Prices and College Enrollments
UT Austin
UT Austin Admissions Policies after Gratz and Grutter
PostAffirmative Action College Access Policy in California
Proposition 209
Higher Educations Shrinking State Budget
Looking Ahead

2 The Continuing Paradox of Public College Tuition Inflation
Previous Research on Public College Tuition Inflation
The Five Stories of Tuition Inflation
3 Reforming How States Finance Higher Education
The Evolution of the State Financing Mechanisms
Problems with the Current Structure and Suggestions for Improvement
A Framework for Improving Accessibility and Affordability
Public Policy Dimensions
Economic and Demographic Context
Political and Governmental Context
National and State Performance
State Policy and Politics
Concluding Thoughts
Texas the University of Texas at Austin and the Top Ten Percent Plan
State Policy
Behavior and Performance Effects of the Texas TTPP Beneficiaries
Student Body Composition under Percent Plan and Affirmative Action Plus Policies
The Role of the States
The State Interest in Quality
Types of State Assessment Programs
Policy Challenges and Responses
Directions Old and New
Recent Changes in Accountability Expectations
Perspectives on Accountability in Higher Education
State Experiments and Experiences with OutcomeBased Accountability in Higher Education
Other States to Watch
Summing Up and Looking Ahead
Using Student Data Systems to Facilitate Improvement in Degree Attainment
ResearchInformed Improvement
Rethinking Accountability
State Policy and Technology Aims Realities and the Uncertain Future

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About the author (2013)

Donald E. Heller is Dean and Professor of Education in the College of Education at Michigan State University.

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