Reinventing Financial Aid provides a thorough critique of the existing financial aid system and identifies the challenges of reform. It presents a host of innovations designed to strengthen grant and loan programs and the processes by which students get entry to them. Pushing past current debates, it also challenges leaders to think more boldly about policy design, examine the assumptions and incentives embedded in the current system, and lay the groundwork for a fundamental rethinking of student aid programs.
At the same time as the editors agree that bold new thinking on financial aid policy is needed, they don’t aim for consensus. As an alternative, they have got leveraged their differences to flesh out important tensions, trade-offs, and areas of common ground that emerge from innovative approaches to reform. The result is a volume that serves as a counterpoint to the incremental approach to financial aid reform that has led to record tuition levels, growing student debt, and increasing doubts about the value of a school education.