Washington, D.C.—The American Association of State Colleges
and Universities (AASCU) released a proposal today aimed at combatting
escalating tuition hikes at public colleges and universities. AASCU’s plan
calls for leveraging up to $15 billion in federal matching funds to incentivize
state lawmakers to invest in public higher education. The erosion of state
funding remains the primary driver of tuition increases at public colleges and
The proposed Federal-State
College Affordability Partnershipwould reward states whose higher education
funding practices align with the federal government’s longstanding commitment
to making college more affordable for all Americans. It would compare each
state’s per-student subsidy at public institutions to the Pell Grant maximum
award—the federal government’s level of support for low-income students—and
provide progressively greater federal matching funds to states that better fund
“Providing an annual block grant to states that includes a
scaled federal award is an efficient, effective and equitable method to keep
college affordable,” says Daniel J. Hurley, associate vice president for
government relations and state policy at AASCU.
“The program offers a unique mechanism to counter the
privatization trend by ensuring that federal and state funding practices work
in tandem to reduce costs for students” says Barmak Nassirian, director of
federal relations and policy analysis at AASCU.
Given the vital importance of a highly educated workforce,
AASCU calls on Congress to give serious consideration to the Federal-State
College Affordability Partnership.
The proposal is the
result of the Reimagining Aid Design and Delivery (RADD) initiative—Phase Two;
Grants and Work-Study Consortia, led by the Education Trust, and funded by the
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.It
was authored by Daniel J. Hurley, Thomas L. Harnisch and Barmak Nassirian of
the AASCU division of government relations and policy analysis.
View AASCU’s report on the proposal
Proposed Federal Matching Grant Program to Stop the Privatization of Public Higher
is a Washington-based higher education association of more than 400 public
colleges, universities and systems whose members share a learning- and
teaching-centered culture, a historic commitment to underserved student populations
and a dedication to research and creativity that advances their regions’
economic progress and cultural development.