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March 22 , 2009

The States and Public Higher Education Policy

Affordability, Access, and Accountability


Affordability, access, and accountability have long been among the central challenges facing higher education—and they remain so today. Here, Donald E. Heller and other higher education scholars and practitioners explore the current debates surrounding these key issues.

As students and their families struggle to meet rising tuition prices, and as state funding for higher education dwindles, policymakers confront issues of affordability within state and institutional budgets. Changing demographics and challenges to affirmative action complicate the admissions process even as colleges and universities seek to diversify enrollments. And issues of institutional accountability have forced the restructuring of higher education governing boards and a reexamination of the role of public trustees in governance.

This collection analyzes how issues of affordability, access, and accountability influence the way in which state governments approach, monitor, and set public higher education policy. The contributors examine the latest research on pressing challenges, explore how states are coping with these challenges, and consider what the future holds for public postsecondary education in the United States.

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