The Expanding Affordability Gap at State Flagship Institutions

September 13, 2019

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Title: Opportunity Lost: Net Price and Equity at Public Flagship Institutions

Authors: Konrad Mugglestone, Kim Dancy, and Mamie Voight

Source: The Institute for Higher Education Policy

A new report released by the Institute for Higher Education Policy (IHEP) examines affordability at state flagship institutions.

The authors generated student profiles at different income levels using nationally representative data and net-price using institutional net-price calculators. For each student profile, the authors estimated what students and their families would likely be able to contribute to the cost of college, in addition to grant aid they would be eligible for.

Under the assumptions that the student would be attending their in-state flagship institution for the first time, and be full-time students, the findings show that only six state flagship institutions were affordable for students who were not from high-income backgrounds. According to the findings, three of the top five most-affordable flagship institutions had among the lowest enrollment of low-income students.

The report also explores policies around limited-term scholarships, state non-need-based aid allocation, and provides policy recommendations to address issues of affordability and access. An accompanying dashboard is available to examine affordability metrics for each state flagship at

To read the full report please visit IHEP’s website.

—Charles Sanchez

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