September 26, 2018
NYU Washington, DC and The Century Foundation co-hosted a day-long workshop on college affordability.
In recent years, dozens of free, debt-free, and reformed financial aid programs and proposals have cropped up in states across the country. State legislatures have finally started to reinvest in higher education, and federal and state-level politicians have increasingly pledged to pursue ambitious action on college affordability and the explosion in student debt.
The day's workshop convened higher education experts, lawmakers, faculty, and advocates to discuss and debate the next big thing in college affordability. Participants identified major obstacles facing low- and middle-income students, laid out bold ideas to address those challenges, and debated actionable policy design to help chart the course for lawmakers in the next Congress and beyond.
Speakers included Jonathan Voss (CAS '03, WAG '07), Vice President, Lake Research, among others.
Jonathan Voss joined Lake Research Partners in 2011 as a Senior Analyst and has a wide range of experience conducting quantitative and qualitative research for a diverse portfolio of clients. A trained focus group moderator, he currently works on a variety of issues for LRP, including Social Security, housing policy, the environment, education, and issues surrounding poverty.
What is the current state of affairs in terms of access to affordable, quality higher education, and what are the most urgent challenges that we must solve?
Moderator: Robert Shireman, Senior Fellow, The Century Foundation
Tiffany Jones, PhD, Director of Higher Education Policy, The Education Trust
James Kvaal, President, The Institute for College Access and Success (TICAS)
Amy Li, PhD, Assistant Professor, University of Northern Colorado
Julie Margetta Morgan, Senior Fellow, Roosevelt Institute
Should the federal government pursue a free college or debt-free college plan? Or should they build on existing need-based aid programs and improving or reforming our loan repayment system? What is feasible in the near- and medium-term? Experts will present and debate proposed frameworks for more affordable access to college.
Moderator: Adam Harris, Staff writer, The Atlantic
Colleen Campbell, Associate Director, Postsecondary Education, Center for American Progress
Dr. Will Doyle, Associate Professor of Higher Education, Vanderbilt University
Mark Huelsman, Associate Director of Policy & Research, Demos
Kevin James, Founder & CEO, Better Future Forward
Prior to joining LRP, Jonathan worked at Benenson Strategy Group and The Feldman Group conducting research across the country for numerous local, congressional, and state-wide campaigns and ballot initiatives. He has provided strategic guidance for international campaigns, issue coalitions, corporations and nonprofit organizations.
Originally from Orange County, N.Y., Jonathan started working on political campaigns after college in New York City and around the country. He has a master’s degree in public administration from NYU’s Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service, and also has a bachelor’s degree in politics from NYU.
This session will explore the nuances and challenges of how to build a successful, state-federal partnership focused on affordability. How should federal proposals build on momentum around state affordability efforts? How would states and institutions respond to new options with new strings attached?
Moderator: Jen Mishory, Senior Fellow and Senior Policy Advisor, The Century Foundation
Indivar Dutta-Gupta, Co-Executive Director, Georgetown Center on Poverty and Inequality
Christian Haines, Senior Education Policy Counsel, Office of Representative Bobby Scott
Rachelle Sharpe, PhD, Deputy Executive Director, Washington Student Achievement Council and President, NASSGAPP
Secretary Zakiya Smith Ellis, Secretary of Higher Education, New Jersey
Join interactive group breakout session where participants choose one topic and hear a deep-dive presentation on the issue.
A. Equitable Design for New Affordability Ideas
How can future proposals ensure that underrepresented communities are being appropriately supported for more equitable access to higher education?
Mamie Voight, Vice President of Policy Research, Institute for Higher Education Policy (IHEP)
B. Student Work
How should affordability frameworks take into account student work?
Reid Setzer, Government Affairs Director, Young Invincibles
C. Existing Federal Formulas
How would do existing policies like assessing cost of attendance, or calculating an Expected Family Contribution, interact with potential bigger federal investments? What needs to change?
Sara Goldrick-Rab, Professor of Higher Education Policy and Sociology, Temple University, Founder, Wisconsin HOPE Lab and Founder, HOPE Center for College, Community and Justice