Publications About Access and Financial Aid

Following is a list of all Education Trust publications arranged from newest to oldest.

If you know the title of a specific publication but cannot find it, type the name in the search box at the top of this page. To find a publication on a specific topic, go to the Filter Publications box and choose a topic or audience from the drop-down menu. Or you can click on one of the “tags” beneath a publication listed below to view all our publications on that topic.

The Education Trust invites the use of its publications and presentations. For limited personal and noncommercial uses, you are free to download our materials and share them with others as long as the materials are not altered in any way and are properly attributed to The Education Trust and, if applicable, a particular author. For these purposes, noncommercial means not primarily intended for or directed toward commercial advantage or monetary compensation. For commercial and other uses, such as including materials in course packets or reprinting materials or excerpts in textbooks, you must obtain written permission. Please send your request via e-mail or fax to Robin Harris Smiles, managing editor, rsmiles@edtrust.org; 202.293.2605 (fax). Please include the following information in your written request:

  • Requestor's name and contact information
  • Organization name
  • List of Ed Trust materials you wish to use
  • An explanation of how you will use the materials
  • Additional comments, as needed

Ed Trust welcomes feedback on its materials and appreciates receiving a copy of publications in which its works are used or referenced.

While all Education Trust publications are available as free downloads, a limited number of our publications are also available in bound, hardcopy format. Please contact rsmiles@edtrust.org for more information.

Beyond Pell: A Next-Generation Design for Federal Financial Aid

Our current financial aid system focuses on helping students after they enroll, but does nothing for students who cannot afford college up front. Their families often take on burdensome amounts of debt to pay for their education. In our report Beyond Pell: A Next Generation Design for Federal Financial Aid, we ask, "Why not flip the system, so that students reap the benefits of financial aid at the most crucial time -- at the start of college?

Publication date: 
October 1 2014

Doing Away With Debt: Using Existing Resources to Ensure College Affordability for Low and Middle-Income Families

America has some of the finest colleges in the world, but the promise of higher education is realized by too few. The Ed Trust's new report, "Doing Away With Debt: Using Existing Resources to Ensure College Affordability for Low and Middle Income Families," suggests that for students who are willing to study, work, or serve their communities, the federal and state governments, along with their institutions, should make sure they can afford to go to college without the fear of crushing student loan debt.

Publication date: 
February 14 2013

Lifting the Fog on Inequitable Financial-Aid Policies

At every level, from the federal government to the campus, spending has shifted away from the students who most need support toward those who will attend college no matter what.  This report attempts to “lift the fog” on inequitable financial-aid policies to show how all decision makers can work to make college more affordable for the lowest income students. 

Publication date: 
November 14 2011

Priced Out: How the Wrong Financial-Aid Policies Hurt Low-Income Students

In “Priced Out: How the Wrong Financial-Aid Policies Hurt Low-Income Students,” The Education Trust demonstrates how much low-income students must stretch to pay for college, even after all sources of grant aid are taken into account.

The report finds that just five of nearly 1,200 four-year colleges and universities have student bodies that are at least 30 percent low-income and offer low-income students a reasonable chance at a bachelor’s degree at a relatively affordable cost.

Publication date: 
June 1 2011

Subprime Opportunity: The Unfulfilled Promise of For-Profit Colleges and Universities*

Three years after the U.S. housing market collapse, our country continues to suffer the effects of misplaced priorities and weak regulation of subprime mortgage lenders. Meanwhile, as Ed Trust’s report “Subprime Opportunity” warns, the most vulnerable Americans are being targeted by yet another set of corporations peddling access to the American dream but delivering little more than crippling debt. This time, it’s underregulated for-profit colleges.

Publication date: 
November 22 2010

Opportunity Adrift: Our Flagship Universities Are Straying From Their Public Mission*

Public flagship and research universities spend millions of dollars every year to aid wealthy students who don't need it, while providing inadequate support to low-income and minority students who do. Some flagships are stepping up to the challenge and focusing on access and success. An account of their performance and progress appears at the end of this report.

Publication date: 
January 13 2010

Promise Abandoned: How Policy Choices and Institutional Practices Restrict College Opportunities

This report sharply criticizes trends in federal, state, and college practices that discourage low-income and minority students from enrolling and graduating from college.

Publication date: 
August 1 2006 (All day)

Engines of Inequality: Diminishing Equity in the Nation’s Premier Public Universities*

This report holds to account most flagship universities for limiting access to minority students.

Publication date: 
January 1 2006 (All day)