With college costs rising and students’ debt load mounting, there’s a growing national debate over how to make higher education affordable. What’s missing from the conversation is a clear and common understanding of what “affordable” means to students and families. To address that gap and reset the conversation around college affordability, Lumina Foundation today released the Affordability Benchmark for Higher Education—a framework that clearly defines college affordability in terms of what families and students can and should pay.
By establishing a shared definition of affordability, the benchmark sets the stage for policymakers and higher education institutions to work together to build a system that’s affordable for every student. It also enables students and their families to better understand –and plan for –the financial realities of college.