window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; function gtag(){dataLayer.push(arguments);} gtag('js', new Date()); gtag('config', 'UA-29484371-30');
Sunday , September 15 2019
EP ELEC 2019 728×729
Bordertown Undergroun Show 728
Mountains 728
Rhinos 2019/2020 728
Utep Football Generic 728
STEP 728
Amy’s Astronomy
Home | News | UTEP, EPCC partner with Hope Center, launch “Real Price of College” Initiative

UTEP, EPCC partner with Hope Center, launch “Real Price of College” Initiative

With confusion over college prices making it hard for students to earn college degrees, the University of Texas at El Paso and El Paso Community College are partnering with four other Texas colleges and a national organization to help resolve this issue. 

The initiative is being launched by the Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice, a nonprofit research center focused on rethinking and restructuring higher education.

Supported with a $650,000 18-month grant from Lumina Foundation, the project will help six Texas colleges and universities develop better ways to determine students’ financial need, provide more accurate estimates of cost of attendance, and improve communications related to financial need and price for students, their families, and institutional stakeholders.

“Our work demonstrates that when students don’t know what college really costs, they have trouble making ends meet, even falling short on money for food and housing,” offered Dr. Sara Goldrick-Rab, Founding Director of the Hope Center.

“Community colleges and public universities are also dealing with their own budget crunches; we hope this project will help them identify cost-effective ways to help students.”

The project’s aim is to help the participating institutions develop enhanced ways to determine students’ financial need, provide more accurate estimates of cost of attendance, and improve communications related to financial need and price for students, their families and institutional stakeholders.

“Participation in this exciting new initiative reflects UTEP’s long-standing commitment to college affordability and access to quality educational opportunities,” said Gary Edens, Ed.D., UTEP vice president for student affairs. “We are pleased to add our voice and leadership to this important national discussion.”

UTEP will take part in the initiative with El Paso Community College, Amarillo College, West Texas A&M University, Dallas Community College District, and San Jacinto College.

The participating colleges will re-evaluate two components of the financial aid formula –  the cost of attendance and the expected family contribution (EFC) – and will develop tools to help colleges and universities utilize the information gathered.

Sara Goldrick-Rab, Ph.D., a professor of higher education policy and sociology at Temple University, founded the Hope Center.  She visited the UTEP campus to discuss research and advocacy for low-income students in 2018.

“Our work demonstrates that when students don’t know what college really costs, they have trouble making ends meet, even falling short on money for food and housing,” Goldrick-Rab said. “Community colleges and public universities are also dealing with their own budget crunches; we hope this project will help them identify cost-effective ways to help students.”

“We can’t effectively address affordability if we can’t accurately and reliably understand costs and need,” says Jesse O’Connell, Strategy Director for Federal Policy at Lumina. “This initiative presents a timely opportunity to work with institutions and support students in an effort to bridge that gap, while also informing policy at a critical moment for higher education.”

This project is especially important as federal policymakers consider better ways to assess and report on student need. Working within existing federal frameworks, the Hope Center team will implement and test ideas first outlined in work from Dr. Goldrick-Rab, including her book Paying the Price and a report issued by The Century Foundation.

Additionally, leading financial aid researchers Dr. Robert Kelchen of Seton Hall University, Dr. Douglas Webber of Temple University and Derek Price of DVP-Praxis will lend their collective expertise to this effort.

The Hope Center’s project team includes Managing Director and Director of Research Dr. Christine Baker-Smith, Research Associate Dr. Tiffani Williams, and Senior Practitioner-Researcher Edward Conroy (a former financial aid practitioner).

The project will last 18 months.

Participants include:

  • El Paso Community College
  • Amarillo College
  • West Texas A&M University
  • University of Texas-El Paso
  • Dallas County Community College District
  • San Jacinto College

About Staff Report

Staff Reports are just that, Staff Reporting the news. No skew, no opinion just the news. We pride ourselves on making sure that we bring you the news as soon as it is published, submitted or sent to us. No need to have a reporter rewrite or give their opinion. The facts or information, nothing more.

Check Also

El Paso High senior named National Merit Scholarship semifinalist

The prestigious and competitive National Merit Scholarship Corporation has named its list of semifinalists and …

EP ELEC 2019 728×729
Bordertown Undergroun Show 728
Utep Football Generic 728
Amy’s Astronomy
Rhinos 2019/2020 728
Mountains 728
STEP 728