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Promised programs affect college costs

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Collaborative colleges, which received revenue from targeted scholarship programs for tuition, spent less on student service and classroom instruction, according to a study recently published in the journal Educational policy.

The study, conducted by researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, examined costs in two- and four-year colleges participating in city or regional promise programs that offer scholarships to students in a particular college or multiple public. institutions in the state. It used data from 2000 to 2014 from the Delta Cost Project, an initiative of the American Research Institutes that informs politicians and others about the cost of higher education, and funded by the American Association for Educational Research.

Expenditures on student services fell to 15 percent and tuition costs fell by 3.3 percent in public colleges participating in local promise programs, the study found. However, community colleges have spent more money on services such as parking, food and health care. According to the study, there were no significant changes in student-centered costs in four-year institutions.

“We reviewed the agreement between the funds of the program of promises received by higher education institutions and whether institutions spend them in a way that benefits students, such as training, support or comprehensive services that help students succeed and develop,” – Co-author Jennifer Delaney, Professor of Education Policy, Organization and Leadership, says in a news release with UIUC. “In a sense, they were aligned; otherwise they were not. “

The study also found differences in cost structures between community colleges in promised programs serving only one institution and community colleges in nationwide programs. For example, spending on student services decreased by 9.4 percent in public colleges on one-institution promise programs and by 15.4 percent in public colleges on nationwide programs, compared to similar colleges that do not use such programs.

“If the goals of these programs are equity and educational development, we hope to find that eligible institutions will increase their spending on student support,” the study said.

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