Higher education has emerged as a national issue amid rising public concerns about college affordability and increasing student debt loads. The Obama administration has taken steps to push forward new policies, and the presidential candidates are taking varied views, but policymakers, the media, and the public cannot always distinguish hype from reality. A growing body of research dispels many popular beliefs about higher education but points to equally troubling but less well-understood trends.
During this panel discussion hosted by the Urban Institute in collaboration with Ithaka S+R, Michael McPherson, economist, former president of Macalester College, and coauthor of Lesson Plan: An Agenda for Change in American Higher Education, published by Princeton University Press, provided a candid diagnosis of higher education’s biggest challenges. A distinguished panel of experts discussed the evidence regarding what ails higher education and what federal and local government, colleges and universities, and the public can do about it.
Matthew M. Chingos, senior fellow, Urban Institute
Jessica Howell, executive director of policy research, College Board
Michael S. McPherson, president, Spencer Foundation
Edward Montgomery, dean, McCourt School of Public Policy, Georgetown University