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Saving Financial Aid: Expanding Educational Opportunity

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Saving Financial Aid:Expanding Educational Opportunity and Reimagining the Way We Pay for College by Promoting Children's SavingsIn Collaboration with the Assets and Education Initiative at the University of KansasA college education has never been more important to succeeding in the job market and earning a good living. For millions of low- and moderate- income students, however, the cost of attendance requires taking on a mountain of debt or puts the credential out of reach altogether. Unfortunately, none of the common proposals for fixing financial aid -- forgiving loans, lowering interest rates, increasing tax credits, tuition guarantees -- focus on the one lever that simultaneously improves college affordability, readiness, completion, and financial security in adulthood: children's financial assets.A new report, Building Expectations, Delivering Results, from the Assets and Education Initiative (AEDI) at the University of Kansas suggests that investing in policies that build children's savings could revolutionize the way that financial assistance is conceived and delivered and improve educational outcomes along the way. Could savings offer an alternative to the debt-driven model of higher education finance? What kinds of policies would be necessary to extend the opportunity to save to all children regardless of family income?On July 15th, the New America Foundation and the AEDI at the University of Kansas explored how our financial aid system could be remade to promote savings and opportunity with a distinguished panel of experts.IntroductionRosemary ByrnesProgram Officer, College Success, Citi FoundationSpeakersWilliam ElliottDirector, Assets and Education Initiative, University of KansasMelinda LewisPolicy Director, Assets and Education Initiative, University of KansasPanelDana GoldsteinBernard L. Schwartz Fellow, New America FoundationMichael McPhersonPresident, Spencer FoundationCo-author, Rethinking Pell Grants, College BoardBen MillerSenior Policy Analyst, Education Policy Program, New America FoundationModeratorRachel BlackSenior Policy Analyst, Asset Building Program, New America Foundation

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