Jon Marcus

Boards of trustees think the price of college is just about right

The boards of trustees and directors who oversee America’s colleges and universities think higher education has gotten too expensive—just not at their own institutions. In a finding that suggests there’s little sense of urgency among governing boards to rein in the cost of college, more than half of 2,500 board members surveyed said higher education […]


Clock ticks down on billions in tuition tax credits

Among the many tax breaks waiting for Congress to rescue or let tumble off the fiscal cliff is more than $18 billion in savings for families who pay college and university tuition. The American Opportunity Tax Credit expires on December 31st, and, with it, financial relief averaging $1,545 per recipient who pays for college. Compounding […]

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Survey: U.S. higher education must change to remain globally competitive

Nearly half of all Americans have a dim view of the quality of U.S. higher education, and most think it’s not only too expensive but also only a fair or poor return on their investment, according to the results of a new survey. Most of those surveyed—particularly college-aged Americans themselves—agree that U.S. higher education must change […]


Report: Scholarships for in-state college students lengthen time to degree

Programs meant to keep high-achievers close to home by providing scholarships to in-state public universities reduce students’ chances of graduating on time, according to a study released on August 8th by researchers at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. The study’s authors examined a Massachusetts program launched in 2004 by then-Gov. Mitt Romney that […]


Universities scolded for raising tuition, chasing ratings

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Public universities observing the 150th anniversary of the federal law that led to their creation found their celebration tempered Tuesday, June 26th, by stern calls to restore their original purpose of making higher education available to everyone. Billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates told university presidents and others gathered in Washington that their pursuit of higher […]


U.S. to fall short of 2025 college grads goal—by 24 million degrees

Despite persistent appeals from policymakers and politicians to increase the number of college graduates in the United States, a new report projects a shortfall of nearly 24 million degree-holders by 2025. The cost to the U.S. economy in lost wages and income taxes? About $600 billion a year. They’re the most dramatic figures yet in […]


New report says tuition tax breaks helping wealthier families

Education Sector reports today that federal higher-education tuition-tax breaks are increasingly benefiting wealthier families. The tax breaks, and other aid that goes to students who do not meet the federal definition of financial need, were the subject of this story by The Hechinger Report, which appeared on the front page of USA Today last November. […]

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Bankruptcy attorneys warn that student loans could be the next crisis

A group of bankruptcy attorneys who predicted the mortgage fiasco that helped cause the current economic downturn said today that rising student debt could fuel another crisis just as big. Nearly half the members of the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys (NACBA) said in a survey conducted last month that the number of their […]

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Obama is “incentivizing”—not regulating—universities, ed secretary says

U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan said today that the Obama administration isn’t trying to regulate university tuition by linking federal funding to the rate at which college costs increase. In his state-of-the-union address on January 24th, President Barack Obama proposed that federal financial aid be tied to the pace of tuition increases. Institutions whose tuition […]


Calculating how much college actually costs

Days after the College Board announced that tuition at America’s public universities increased 8.3 percent this year, higher-education institutions quietly met a weekend deadline for reporting what students actually pay, after grants and other financial aid are taken into account. The “net price” accounts for tuition minus scholarships, grants, and income from on-campus jobs, on […]