The Efficacy of Wraparound Support Services on Improving Postsecondary Student Outcomes

Most jobs today require some form of postsecondary education or training, making it increasingly necessary for people to set a career goal and follow the right path to achieve it. An estimated 72 percent of jobs will require additional education beyond high school by 2031,1 but learners of all ages are often not aware of the most effective or direct path to a given career or know where to start. Those who want to earn a degree or credential must keep up with their rigorous coursework while simultaneously trying to overcome financial burdens, navigate complex administrative processes, and take care of their mental and physical health.

The Perils of PLUS Loans: Examining the Effects of the Federal Government’s Most Unfavorable Student Loan Program

Both graduate school students and parents helping their dependent offspring finance college may rely on the federal Direct PLUS Loan program. The Direct PLUS Loan program can be an important college access tool, but it can also be an overly risky investment for too many people. This brief examines Direct PLUS Loan borrowing trends over time, identifies how borrowers are ill-served by the both the opacity and terms and conditions of the program, and makes recommendations federal policymakers can implement to improve the program for both borrowers and taxpayers.

Financing Unmet Need: Why College Students Use High-Cost Credit Sources

As the cost of a higher education continues to rise, individuals and families are increasingly worried about how to pay for it and question whether a degree is as valuable in the workforce as it once was. The complexity and opacity of the college pricing system creates difficulties for even the most financially savvy consumers. This brief identifies several factors that contribute to misunderstandings of the real cost of college. It also explores how families currently pay for schooling after scholarship and grant aid. The brief concludes with policy recommendations to help individuals make informed choices that will help make college more affordable.

The Federal Student Loan Knowledge Gap: Exploring What Borrowers Think They Know Before Monthly Payments Resume

Pulling together recent survey results and relevant data into one document, the paper provides readers with a fresh perspective on the complicated nature of the federal student aid system. The brief identifies several weaknesses in the federal student loan system that could make the resumption of student loan payments difficult. It concludes with five policy recommendations to reform the system for both existing and future borrowers.