- 大学論集 (ISSN:03020142)
- vol.47, pp.137-152, 2014
The purpose of this study is to clarify the trends and problems of public college tuition and state student aid policy in Pennsylvania which is known as the highest tuition level in the United States. Access to higher education is an extremely important policy issue. In granting student financial assistance and maintaining low-tuition level, the state government has enlarged the opportunity of higher education for many years. However, many states have shifted high-tuition/high-aid policy recently. They have shifted the cost burden from taxpayers to college students and their families through high percentage tuition increases in the public colleges and universities. Why is the tuition level of public colleges in Pennsylvania the highest in the nation? How do they compensate the rising tuition through student financial aid programs? In pursuing the goal of this study, the author conducted hearings with the Pennsylvania Department of Education, Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency and the student aid offices of colleges and universities in Pennsylvania in 2011, 2013 and 2014. The study consists of four sections. The first describes the characteristics of Title IV postsecondary education institutions in Pennsylvania, its average cost of attendance, and the decision making process of tuition setting. The second explains the characteristics of state student aid programs carried by the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency and it's positioning in the United States. Pennsylvania has had a strong tradition of providing need-based financial aid program to students. But, it has been difficult to raise state appropriations for the need-based student aid program to compensate for the rising tuition. The third examines the difference of net price. Net price is generated by subtracting the grant or scholarship aid from the total cost of attendance. It was found from the data that the highest net price in the lowest income group was the four-year public research university. For low income students, it is likely to be difficult to access and persist their learning in selective public research university due to their burden of cost of attendance. Fourth and lastly the study concludes by summarizing the main points and indicating the implications for Japanese national and public university tuition setting and student financial aid policy.