Making a Case for Need-based Financial Aid in Georgia
By 2020 an estimated 61 percent of all jobs in the state will require a career certificate or college degree; however, only 34 percent of adults in Georgia have an associate degree or higher. This creates a sizable skills gap that must be closed. Postsecondary education is becoming a necessity in a 21st century economy. Yet, students and families are confronted with the growing costs of higher education making it out of reach for many. The report, Making a Case for Need-based Financial Aid, uses data to demonstrates that a need-based financial aid program coupled with a reallocation of existing state funding could help to close the skills gap and make higher education more affordable for low-income students.
Various factors, including cost, influence whether a student pursues a postsecondary education and ultimately completes a program of study. The cost of higher education in Georgia has steadily increased over the past decade. Tuition and fees have increased by an average annual rate of 12.6 percent since 2000. The report highlights how the increasing cost of higher education and disinvestment in state support for higher education may limit access to higher education in Georgia.
The report also offers several recommendations to help build a workforce that can meet the demands of a 21st century economy.
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