State Finance Policy Best Practices

For most states, increasing postsecondary attainment over the coming decade will require altering the traditional paradigm of postsecondary education, expanding how education is delivered and the types of students that postsecondary education typically serves. State Finance Policy Best Practices provides a comprehensive overview for policymakers and higher education leaders to support the development of finance policies that align with the need to increase credential attainment. In this analysis, HCM Strategists’ Martha Snyder, Brian Fox and Cristen Moore highlight best practices across states, including: outcomes-based funding policies that appropriate state dollars to institutions for student completions and outcomes, not just enrollments; state financial aid policies that are directed to students most in need of financial support; and tuition and aid policies that encourage full-time enrollment and timely persistence. The paper also explores innovative delivery models (lower-cost pathways) that foster the accelerated completion of credentials, and discusses how states could begin to consider capital investments in ways that better align with state priorities.

This analysis was written as part of the The National Commission on Financing 21st Century Higher Education, supported by the University of Virginia’s Miller Center.  Their purpose is to recommend policy and funding changes to help the nation attain the goal of 60 percent of the labor force with a postsecondary degree or certificate by 2025. Additional analyses produced by the Commission can be found here


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