Postsecondary Affordability

In an effort to reduce student debt and increase postsecondary attainment rates, state leaders are focused on making postsecondary education affordable. Over the past few years, we’ve seen states develop and deploy many different strategies to address postsecondary affordability, ranging from free college to financial aid. Explore the resources below to learn more about varying approaches from state to state.


Policy Reports

Relevant context and state policy examples on specific postsecondary affordability issues.

Blog Posts

Legislative trends and other news with implications for postsecondary affordability.

Slide 1

In response to evidence from federal pilot programs in the last five years and increasing awareness about significant justice issues associated with incarceration, lawmakers recently ended a nearly three decade ban on Pell Grant receipt for students impacted by the justice system.

Slide 2

With lots of information out there on college affordability — or un-affordability, depending on what you are reading — we wondered how net price and median income could help us learn about affordability for students from differing economic backgrounds.

Slide 3

In 2014, I gave my first state legislative testimony in Maine on an idea that would turn tuition and financial aid on its head: Pay It Forward, Pay It Back.

Slide 4

The share of low-income and first-generation students enrolling in college is increasing, especially at community colleges.

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State Information Requests

Brief issue scans, typically provided within 48 hours, that provide top-level information on postsecondary affordability.

Financial Aid for Undocumented Students
State-Level Free College Proposals
Textbook Affordability

Searching for something different?

View all available postsecondary affordability resources:

Explore our State Education Policy Tracking resource:

Browse pending legislation on our State Education Policy Watchlist: