Reinventing Financial Aid

Reinventing Financial Aid Charting a New Course to College Affordability

Edited by Andrew P. Kelly and Sara Goldrick-Rab, Foreword by Martha J. Kanter
paper, 272 Pages
Pub. Date: October 2014
ISBN-13: 978-1-61250-714-9
Price: $32.00

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In this provocative volume, two experts with very different points of view address the growing concern that student loan programs are not a sustainable solution to the problem of mounting college costs. They argue that the time has come to reform the financial aid system so that it is more effective in promoting college affordability, access, and completion.


Kelly and Goldrick-Rab shine a bright light on the need for wholesale reform of the federal student aid system and the lack of proven interventions and empirically based student aid solutions that can help achieve the student outcomes we desire. — Diane Auer Jones, former assistant secretary for postsecondary education, U.S. Department of Education

In Reinventing Financial Aid, Andrew P. Kelly and Sara Goldrick-Rab present a variety of perspectives and insights on ways to improve the effectiveness of student aid funding. They highlight the need to question assumptions, test ideas, and rigorously research what works and what does not, so as to identify and avoid the unintended consequences of well-intended policies. — Mark Kantrowitz, senior vice president and publisher,

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About the Editors

Andrew P. Kelly is a resident scholar in education policy studies and the founding director of the Center on Higher Education Reform at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, DC. His research currently focuses on higher education innovation, student aid reform, information and choice in education markets, and the politics of education. Kelly has published research on a variety of topics across K–12 and higher education, including postsecondary productivity and innovation, consumer information and transparency in education, K–12 principal preparation, charter school achievement, and collective bargaining in public schools. His scholarship has appeared in the American Journal of Education, Teachers College Record, Educational Policy, Policy Studies Journal, and various edited volumes. He has also published in popular outlets like The Atlantic, National Affairs, U.S. News and World Report, and National Review, and is a regular contributor to Forbes. He is coeditor of numerous edited volumes on education policy, including Stretching the Higher Education Dollar, Getting to Graduation: The Completion Agenda in Higher Education, and Reinventing Higher Education: The Promise of Innovation. He is an editorial consultant for Phi Delta Kappan magazine, and sits on the board of BASIS DC, a public charter school in Washington, DC. He holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Dartmouth College and a master’s and PhD in political science from the University of California, Berkeley, where he served as a National Science Foundation fellow and a graduate student instructor.

Sara Goldrick-Rab is a professor of educational policy studies and sociology at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. She is also the founding director of the Wisconsin HOPE Lab, senior scholar at the Wisconsin Center for the Advancement of Postsecondary Education, and an affiliate of the Center for Financial Security, Institute for Research on Poverty, the La Follette School of Public Affairs, and the Consortium for Chicago School Research. Goldrick-Rab received the William T. Grant Faculty Scholars Award in 2010 for her project “Rethinking College Choice in America,” and in 2014 she was given the Early Career Award by the American Educational Research Association. Goldrick-Rab has conducted several experimental studies on financial aid programs and written widely about the challenges facing undergraduates from low-income families. She provides technical assistance to more than a dozen foundations, think tanks, and nonprofits, and in 2013 she testified on college affordability before the United States Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions. Dr. Goldrick-Rab earned her PhD in sociology from the University of Pennsylvania.