Reforming Pell: New Ideas and Research to Improve Student Aid Policy
About This Event

The cost of the federal Pell Grant program has more than doubled since 2008, and the latest projections reveal that it will cost upwards of $40 billion in fiscal year 2012. Unprecedented increases in student demand and current budgetary realities have forced policymakers to consider reforms that will place the program on a sustainable path. While policy debates often revolve around the maximum grant amount, it is time for a more thorough rethinking of how aid programs are designed and how we might target federal aid dollars more efficiently and effectively. Please join AEI and a panel of financial aid experts to discuss research on new approaches to student aid policy and the implications for Pell reform.

****Please note that this event is off-site and will be held on Capitol Hill****

Agenda

11:45 AM
Registration and Lunch

12:00 PM
Discussion

Opening Remarks:
REP. JOHN KLINE (R-Minn.), U.S. Congress

Panelists:
SARA GOLDRICK-RAB, University of Wisconsin
MARK KANTROWITZ, FinAid
LASHAWN RICHBURG-HAYES, Manpower Development Research Corporation
MARK SCHNEIDER, AEI

Moderator:
ANDREW P. KELLY, AEI

1:10 PM
Question and Answer

1:30 PM
Adjournment

Sara Goldrick-Rab is an associate professor of educational policy studies and sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is also the senior scholar at the Wisconsin Center for the Advancement of Postsecondary Education and affiliate of the Institute for Research on Poverty, the La Follette School of Public Affairs, and the Consortium for Chicago School Research. Ms. Goldrick-Rab received the William T. Grant Scholars Award in 2010 for her project “Rethinking College Choice in America.” In 2009 she was lead author of a Brookings Institution blueprint on “Transforming Community Colleges,” and in 2006-2007 was a National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation postdoctoral fellow. Her work appears in academic journals such as Sociology of Education and the Future of Children as well as on her blogs (the Education Optimists and The Chronicle of Higher Education’s Brainstorm). Currently she is co-directing the Wisconsin Scholars Longitudinal Study, an experimental evaluation of the impact of need-based financial aid on college graduation.

Mark Kantrowitz is publisher of the FinAid and Fastweb websites, owned by Monster Worldwide, and author of the Amazon.com bestseller “Secrets to Winning a Scholarship .” He is also president of MK Consulting Inc., a consulting firm focused on computer science, artificial intelligence and statistical and policy analysis. He is also an alumnus of the Research Science Institute program established by Admiral H. G. Rickover. He has previously been employed at Just Research, the MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, Bitstream Inc. and the Planning Research Corporation. Mr. Kantrowitz has testified before Congress about student aid on several occasions. He is interviewed regularly by prominent print and TV news outlets. He is on the editorial board of the Council on Law in Higher Education and the editorial advisory board of Bottom Line/Personal (a Boardroom Inc. publication) and writes the weekly Ask Kantro column for Fastweb. He is also a member of the board of trustees of the Center for Excellence in Education and of the board of directors of the National Scholarship Providers Association.

Andrew P. Kelly is a research fellow in education policy studies at AEI and a doctoral candidate in political science at the University of California, Berkeley. His research focuses on higher education policy, information and consumer choice in education, and public opinion. As a graduate student, Mr. Kelly was a National Science Foundation interdisciplinary training fellow and a graduate student instructor. Previously, he was a research assistant at AEI, where his work focused on the preparation of school leaders, collective bargaining in public schools and the politics of education. His research has appeared in Teachers College Record, Educational Policy, Policy Studies Journal, Education Next, Education Week, as well as popular outlets such as Forbes, The Atlantic and The Huffington Post. He is co-editor of “Reinventing Higher Education: The Promise of Innovation” (Harvard Education Press, 2011).

Rep. John Kline (R-Minn.) has represented Minnesota’s Second District in the U.S. House of Representatives since first being elected to Congress in 2002. Since 2010, he has served as the chairman of the Education and the Workforce Committee for the 112th Congress. A 25-year veteran of the Marine Corps, Rep. Kline also serves on the House Armed Services Committee. During his successful career in the Marine Corps, he served as a helicopter pilot and earned the responsibility of flying Marine One, the president’s personal helicopter. He also served as a personal military aide to Presidents Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan.

Lashawn Richburg-Hayes is the deputy director for Manpower Development Research Corporation’s (MDRC) young adults and postsecondary education policy area. Her current research focuses on measuring various effects of new forms of financial aid, enhanced student services, and curricular and instructional innovations on community college retention and credit accumulation and nonexperimental methods of data analysis. Ms. Richburg-Hayes is the principal researcher and project director of a national demonstration that will test the effectiveness of performance-based scholarship programs to increase retention and persistence in higher education. She is a lead investigator of MDRC’s Opening Doors project, a demonstration designed to help nontraditional students—at-risk youth, low-wage working parents and unemployed individuals—earn college credentials as the pathway to better jobs with higher pay; Achieving the Dream, a comprehensive initiative being led by Lumina Foundation for Education that targets students of color and low-income students, aiming to boost academic achievement and “close the gap” between these and other community college enrollees; and the Project on Devolution and Urban Change, one of the most ambitious efforts to study urban welfare reform by amassing a database that includes all individuals at risk of welfare receipt in four large cities.

Mark Schneider is a visiting scholar at AEI and vice president for new education initiatives at the American Institutes for Research. A former commissioner of the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics—the primary federal office that collects and analyzes data relating to education—he writes about a broad range of education issues: charter schools, consumer choice in education, the relationship between school facilities and academic outcomes, and higher education policy. He also studies and writes about urban politics and public policy. He is the author and coauthor of numerous scholarly books and articles, including the award-winning “Choosing Schools: Consumer Choice and the Quality of American Schools” (Princeton University Press, 2000). From 2000 to 2001, he served as vice president of the American Political Science Association (APSA) and simultaneously as president of APSA's public policy section. Mr. Schneider's research at AEI focuses on higher education, particularly accountability in postsecondary education.

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