Institutions that feel they are mischaracterized could appeal to be recategorized.
States: Provide any required funding matches and make any necessary adjustments to performance funding systems so they do not discourage any of the outcomes that Beyond Tuition encourages. Institutions would also be expected to undertake efforts to keep their cost of delivering the education from growing too fast—a condition that builds on existing incentives in the structure of the affordability promise.
The benefits covering living expenses would be handled separately. Colleges may improve academic supports for students through a variety of means. Federal government: Provide sufficient funding; enforce institutional performance requirements; define outcome indicators; and determine cost of living estimates.
This binding requirement ensures that states could not cut funding whenever budgets tighten. Some selective colleges, for example, fill as much as half their classes through early admission programs—options that disadvantage low-income students who cannot make a binding choice before they are offered a financial aid package.
Scott and the Democratic Committee members for introducing a comprehensive set of provisions that place a strong focus on access and affordability.
Cost increases above inflation would be borne by institutions and states. While institutions would have strong incentives to contain costs, the matching structure of Beyond Tuition also ensures that states could not continue to disinvest in higher education.
Families would not be expected to contribute from their savings; no student should be forced to work in order to receive aid; and adults as well as traditionally college-aged students could take part.
Because household budgets are finite, the total family contribution would not increase when a family has more than one student in college; rather the contribution would be split among the children. Affordability Beyond Tuition starts with the idea that all students, regardless of their background, should be able to afford a postsecondary education without going into debt.