STATEMENT: On the Joint PA House/Senate Education Committees Commissioned Rand Study on PASSHE

Study does not address underlying issue of college affordability

In the context of today’s hearings of the joint PA House and Senate Education Committees on the Rand study issued last week, Keystone Research Center economist Mark Price issued the following statement:

"The RAND Corporation study released last week and commissioned by the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee presented policy makers with five options for addressing the challenges faced by the State System of Higher Education and its universities; none of those options included making college more affordable. The RAND report downplayed the key role that declining state support for the State System of Higher Education has had in driving up tuition and feeding a college affordability crisis for parents and students in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Rather than addressing affordability the RAND report recommended a series of administrative changes and consolidations that it acknowledged would both reduce affordability and access for students. The most direct path to improving the financial position of the State System and making college affordable for families remains a commitment by the Commonwealth to invest $1 billion to reduce tuition for students that attend a State System, state-related or community college."

More information from KRC's proposal along these lines here.