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Ellen Smith, assistant vice president, represents and informs the Univesity on issues such as financial aid, Medicare and Medicaid, research funds and tax policies as they pertain to higher education.





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 VOL. 23, NO. 13JANUARY 30, 1998 


LEGISLATIVE UPDATE

Commission on Costs of Higher Education Supports University Systems, but Cites Needed Improvements


BY ELLEN S. SMITH

On Jan. 22, the National Commission on the Costs of Higher Education issued its report, indicating support for the importance of a college education and the strength of our system of higher education.

  The Commission did, however, state that academic institutions need to provide more information about price, cost and methods of financing a higher education.

  The Commission was established on a short-term basis to study college costs.

  Five policy goals were recommended, which are likely to be incorporated in the Higher Education Reauthorization Act.

  These goals are:

  • Strengthen institutional cost control;
  • Improve market information and public accountability;
  • Deregulate higher education;
  • Rethink accreditation, and
  • Enhance and simplify federal student aid.

  A number of issues are also identified for the future.

  For instance, the Commission believes that there needs to be more study of graduate education, including whether or not undergraduate tuition is financing graduate education.

  In addition, the Commission believes there should be further study of faculty workload; further evaluation of costs and quality; potential changes in technology and distance learning, and the impact of family tuition remission on institutional costs.

  For more information, contact Ellen S. Smith, assistant vice president and director of federal relations, at 854-3394 or ess9@columbia.edu.






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