Goal: Get to a Pell-type model where students take their awards to the institution of their choice, up to the cost of tuition. This model, where the award is based on the student’s need, rationalizes the taxpayer’s investment in student support, maximizes student choice, mitigates against gaming the system through tuition increases and discounting practices, and eliminates the unjustifiable inequities of the current system.
Achieve the goal by:
- Holding the private sector harmless, using their current table with no changes and no increases. For years, the privates have received larger awards and larger increases to those awards than the public sector. Any further increase to those awards now simply increases the inequities and slows down the corrective process by diverting funds that could be used to decrease the inequities.
- Using all available additional funds for the public sector only, beginning an incremental, multi-year process to get all publics to the private’s award level on all tiers and to increase all publics to the same number of tiers as the privates.
- HESAA should switch to using the FAFSA for needs assessment, as do most states, and eliminate the NJ supplemental questions. This change will vastly simplify the process for both students and institutions and increase the transparency and consistency of needs assessment.
- HESAA should align the state NJEI index with the federal EFC, which will also dramatically simplify the process and increase the transparency and consistency of needs assessment.