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A Broken System: Perspectives on Changing Federal Student Aid


Sandy Baum, PhD, Professor of Economics Emerita, Skidmore College
David Bergeron, Acting Assistant Secretary, Office of Postsecondary Education, U.S. Department of Education
Martens Roc, Policy and Advocacy Associate, Alliance for Excellent Education
Carrie Warick, Director of Partnerships and Policy, National College Access Network

The Alliance for Excellent Education held a webinar to learn more about the slate of ideas and innovations for fixing the federal student financial aid system.

Made up of an assortment of grants, loans, campus-based aid, tax incentives, and other programs and policies, the federal student aid system is aimed at increasing access to postsecondary education by helping students and families pay for college. It has successfully supported millions of students with gaining access to college, but it has failed in ensuring student completion. The Alliance and numerous organizations across the country have recently released reports and principles that reimagine the design and delivery of federal student aid as a system focused on both access and completion.

Martens Roc, policy and advocacy associate for the Alliance, moderated a conversation with three stakeholders in higher education. Carrie Warick is the Director of Partnerships and Policy at the National College Access Network, an organization dedicated to building, strengthening, and empowering communities committed to college access and success, so that all students can achieve their educational dreams. Sandy Baum is an independent higher education policy analyst who has conducted research for the College Board, and coauthors the Trends in Higher Education series. David Bergeron is the acting assistant secretary in the Office of Postsecondary Education at the U.S. Department of Education, where he assists with the development of policies related to federal student aid.

The Alliance for Excellent Education is a Washington, DC-based national policy and advocacy organization that works to improve national and federal policy so that all students can achieve at high academic levels and graduate from high school ready for success in college, work, and citizenship in the twenty-first century. For more information about the Alliance, visit

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