Feb. 17, 2010—The Institute for Higher Education Policy (IHEP), an independent, nonprofit organization that is dedicated to increasing access and success in postsecondary education around the world, is encouraged by President Obama’s Fiscal Year 2011 budget proposal. IHEP believes the president is making the right choices in committing to funding educational programs aiming to increase college access and success for Americans, and as such has prepared a brief highlighting promising strategies to complement his proposed budget.
As Congress returns from the President’s Day recess and gears up to focus on critical issues, IHEP wishes to offer comments and recommendations likely to guarantee that our nation will have the “highest share of college graduates by the year 2020”—a national goal set by President Obama. IHEP believes the president's proposal is filled with an abundance of promising funding ideas to help all students—especially underrepresented students such as minorities and those from low-income families—to successfully enter and complete college. Efforts like the Access and Completion Fund, the American Graduation Initiative, the expansion of student loan repayment options, and support for minority-serving institutions (Hispanic-Serving institutions, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and Tribal Colleges and Universities) are certain to collectively help increase college completion rates among all students. However, as an organization deeply committed to informing key policymakers on pressing higher education issues, we feel it is our responsibility to bring additional concerns to the president’s attention.
Careful thought must be given to other ideas, including our policy-based recommendations, which focus on funding efforts to increase aid to more eligible students, target better interventions, and encourage partnerships with the federal government. We are hopeful the Obama Administration—as well as others who shape public policy—will continue to make the right decisions to help our nation (and students) reach our education goals.
Editor’s Note: In response to President Obama’s FY2011 budget proposal, IHEP has prepared a brief that identifies several recommendations for further consideration to help increase college access and success. To download this brief, visit the publication section of IHEP's Web site at www.ihep.org.