Coping with Misinformation and Lack of Tuition Transparency in Today's Complex Higher Education Environment
Governance and the Responsible University
Gregory Wolniak, Casey George, Glen Nelson
Single presentation - 30 Minutes
The presentation highlights the findings from a set of research projects aimed to improve the accuracy and accessibility of information pertaining to college cost and tuition information. This collection of studies, designated as the "Affordability and Transparency Initiative," responds to the fact that tuition policies adopted at U.S. colleges and universities have become increasingly complex, which may disproportionately affect underrepresented students and fuel stratification by limiting access and eroding decision-making. The Initiative focuses on the responsibility of institutions to provide accurate and accessible information to the public, resulting in evidence-based recommendations for institutions to clearly and accurately portray cost information to prospective students, and the implications of not doing so. Understanding the current landscape and potential difficulties in understanding pricing information by students and their families, particularly first generation students, serves as the basis for the need to develop innovative strategies for disseminating the information, formulating alternative pricing policies, and developing strategies to mitigate undesirable and/or unintended outcomes.