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KU researchers hope to draw attention to financial-aid ideas in Washington next week

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There's a chance you could see some KU researchers in the news on Monday, when a group of KU social welfare researchers is going to present a report about financial aid in Washington, D.C., with the help of the policy group the New America Foundation.

More details will be in their report, but I wrote about the group, the Assets and Education Initiative, earlier this year. The idea these KU researchers advocate, and what I imagine they'll be pitching in their first biannual report next week, is that America would be better off if it focused financial aid for college students less on loans and more on government-funded savings accounts that would be created at birth.

When I talked with the initative's director, William Elliott, about what to expect, he noted that this will be happening while financial aid is a frequent subject in the news, thanks to the recent doubling of subsidized federal student loan rates. For him and his colleagues, he said the aim would be to shift that conversation to the bigger picture, asking if student loans are really the best way to make higher education more accessible in the first place.

"There are different ways of thinking about the college debt situation, and how we can potentially maximize the dollars that we're already spending," Elliott said.

He says people should think not just about providing aid so students can attend college — they should think about providing aid that will help students be more successful in college and in their lives afterward. And his research has suggested that college savings accounts for children, even ones smaller than $500, would do just that.

Elliott says a contingent of four people from KU will spend Monday in Washington rolling out their report and hoping to draw some media coverage, and on Tuesday they'll meet with some U.S. senators and their staffs.

Your KU news tips are like a college savings account for me: They correlate strongly with my future success. So send 'em to merickson@ljworld.com.

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  • Comments

    elliottaw 1 year, 2 months ago

    Good to see some KU people making an impact in Washington

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    elliottaw 1 year, 2 months ago

    No this is not William, but I have been following some of the research that has been posted on here about this and have look at the aedi site

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    elliottaw 1 year, 2 months ago

    Read some of the research they actually address both of those issues

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    Robert Rauktis 1 year, 2 months ago

    The good news, it keeps parents financially engaged with their children's education, much the same as private home ownership. The bad news, you've got bankers involved. Long ago there was a good reason for them being driven from the temple!

    "Some men rob ya with six-guns; others with pens."

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    jumrijose162 1 year, 2 months ago

    "Some men rob ya with six-guns; others with pens."

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