U.S. Chamber Report Makes Case for Reforming Student Financial Aid

January 8, 2013

WASHINGTON, D.C.— The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for a Competitive Workforce (ICW) released today guiding principles from a task force of business and chamber leaders for improving the federal financial aid system. The report titled, Redesigning Federal Financial Aid, shows that the system is overly complex and does not adequately emphasize completion or student outcomes.  
“As the cost of college continues to rise, now is the time for serious action to help maximize student outcomes while improving efficiency in higher education,” said Cheryl Oldham, vice president of ICW. “We believe that the principles outlined in this report could provide a foundation for reining in higher education costs for students and their families.”
The “Task Force on Student Aid” is committed to working with policymakers and other stakeholders on reforming the system with a continued emphasis on access for low-income and underrepresented students, as well as a new focus on greater efficiency, transparency, and student outcomes. The group strongly urges Congress to conduct a cost-benefit analysis of existing federal programs while adhering to the following principles as efforts to redesign the system are considered:

  • Provide greater transparency and accountability for the performances of higher education institutions
  • Bring simplicity and clarity for the students and families utilizing the system
  • Keep educational quality high by measuring student outcomes and learning gains
  • Prioritize aid decisions to meet student and workforce needs

“We need to help students make enlightened decisions on their educational options by providing them with comprehensive information and data on institutions and programs,” said Oldham.
To view the report, please visit the ICW website.

The Institute for a Competitive Workforce is a non-profit, non-partisan, 501(c)(3) affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, promoting the rigorous educational standards and effective job training systems needed to preserve the strength of America's greatest economic resource, its workforce.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.

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