Just last year, tuition and fees at four-year public colleges rose 6.5 percent. Unfortunately, this continues a decades-long trend of rising college costs, even during periods of economic unease and low inflation. Escalating prices have also coincided with stagnation in need-based financial aid availability, the result of which has been mounting levels of student debt for low and middle-income families. In this context, there has been greater reliance on savings, particularly through 529 college savings plans, in order to increase college affordability and reduce debt.
But there is also an emerging body of research linking savings to important educational and behavioral benefits, as well as college completion.
The Obama Administration has indicated that saving, broadly, will help lay a new and sustainable foundation for economic growth, and that saving for college in particular can help America regain its global education lead. How can college savings plans be reformed to help achieve these goals, particularly for low and moderate income families? What has the Obama Administration learned from its recent review of 529 plans? How are states, through their 529 plans, helping families combat the rising cost of higher education? And how are families actually saving for college, given the current economy?
Join the New America Foundation's College Savings Initiative this Thursday, November 5th, for a discussion of these questions and more, featuring Alan B. Krueger, Assistant Secretary for Economic Policy at the U.S. Treasury Department. This event will also feature commentary by Dan Ebersole, State Treasurer of Georgia, Margaret Clancy of the Center for Social Development at Washington University in St. Louis, and Scott Buchanan of Sallie Mae.
A live webcast of the event can be seen on the event page.