By: Ana Fung

Data from our January 2021 survey of California college students show that the pandemic upended a majority of students’ budgets. The financial disruptions have made it more difficult for already financially vulnerable students to cover basic needs like food and housing and disrupted academic plans for over half of students in California.[1] Even before the pandemic, too many student loan borrowers were struggling to repay their debt, including over a million students who newly defaulted on their federal student loans in the 12 months preceding the national public health emergency.[2]

At the start of the pandemic, policymakers…

By: Oliver Schak

A college degree or credential is a crucial stepping-stone for upward economic mobility, and American colleges and universities play an essential role in building a more prosperous, equitable country. Yet far too many colleges, that have low graduation rates or that offer degrees with little value, routinely and disproportionately enroll students who end up struggling to repay or, worse, default on their student debt. Further, the debt burdens faced by students who attend these colleges fall most heavily on low-income students and underrepresented students of color, reinforcing long-time educational and economic inequities. …

By: Nancy Wong

The latest updates to the College Scorecard include new institution and program-level information on recent students and their ability to successfully repay their federal loans, including the proportion of borrowers who are not currently making payments on all student loans because their loans are in default, delinquency, forbearance, or deferment one year and two years after entering repayment.[1] Having better data on borrowers who are unable to make loan payments (but not necessarily in default) is critical, since almost half of undergraduate borrowers (46%) missed payments on at least one loan two years out of college.


By: Nancy Wong

In January, the U.S. Department of Education updated the College Scorecard interface and released new data elements including dollar-based repayment rates. These new repayment rates shed light on the share of dollars on student loans being repaid over time for each college and program and are one way to gauge the extent to which borrowers are falling behind on their student loans. The dollar-based repayment rates indicate borrowers’ ability to reduce their outstanding balance one year, four years, five years, ten years, and twenty years after leaving college.

The New College Scorecard Data Underscores How Much Completion Matters.

Prior research has found that students who borrow the…

By: Nancy Wong

The Department of Education recently released new data for the College Scorecard, a critical consumer tool that provides vital college- and program-level data on college outcomes that are available for download. With this year’s release, the Department refreshed the Scorecard’s data, including college costs, student debt, graduation rates, and student body demographics, and they added the following new data elements:

  1. Median and average debt of students with federal student loans by Pell Grant status and sex
  2. Median earnings two years after completion
  3. Median and average Parent Plus loan debt, also disaggregated by Pell Grant status and sex

By: Ana Fung

This past July, we released our third analysis of how much college costs for low-income Californians after accounting for grants and scholarships. Our methodological approach to this analysis is unique: Rather than using readily available federal data to estimate what colleges will actually cost low-income students out of pocket, we use colleges’ net price calculators (NPCs) — and supplement with colleges’ student budgets when NPC data are incomplete. …

By: Michele Streeter

The pandemic is exacerbating existing inequities in the nation’s higher education system. Low-income students and students of color have disproportionately borne the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and recession, including job losses and falling wages. With the economy likely to take at least two more years to recover, expected state cuts to public colleges could set back an equitable recovery.

The omnibus bill is an important piece of legislation that will help cushion the blow of the pandemic on students. …

By: Catherine Brown

Yesterday, Governor Whitmer announced the launch of the Futures for Frontliners program. This first in the nation initiative guarantees that tuition and fees at community college will be fully covered for those brave individuals who served our state in essential roles during the pandemic. From grocery store cashiers to garbage collectors, essential workers stepped up to keep our state functioning during this crisis. …

By: Ana Fung

For the third iteration of our report on What College Costs for Low-Income Californians, we analyzed what students have to pay out of pocket after grants and scholarships for all three federally defined living arrangements: on campus, off-campus with family, and off-campus independently. We examined these net prices at the nine undergraduate-serving University of California (UC) campuses and nearby California State University (CSU) and California Community College (CCC) campuses across California. This is the first time our analysis considered living arrangements beyond off-campus independently — which is how the majority of California college students reside — and…

By: Ana Fung

In case you missed it, last week TICAS released a new brief, What College Costs for Low-Income Californians: 2020, highlighting the role that grant aid plays in the net prices that low-income Californians have to pay out of pocket at University of California (UC), California State University (CSU), and California Community College (CCC) campuses across nine regions. …

The Institute for College Access & Success

Source of research, design, & advocacy for student-centered public policies that promote affordability, accountability, and equity in higher ed.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store