Sara Goldrick-Rab

discusses

Paying the Price:
College Costs, Financial Aid, and the Betrayal of the American Dream

This event includes a book signing

Date

Oct
26
Wednesday
October 26, 2016
7:00 PM

Location

Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138

Tickets

This event is free; no tickets are required.

Harvard Book Store and the Scholars Strategy Network welcome SARA GOLDRICK-RAB, co-editor of Reinventing Financial Aid: Charting a New Course to College Affordability, for a discussion of her latest book, Paying the Price: College Costs, Financial Aid, and the Betrayal of the American Dream.

About Paying the Price

If you are a young person, and you work hard enough, you can get a college degree and set yourself on the path to a good life, right?

Not necessarily, says Sara Goldrick-Rab, and with Paying the Price, she shows in damning detail exactly why. Quite simply, college is far too expensive for many people today, and the confusing mix of federal, state, institutional, and private financial aid leaves countless students without the resources they need to pay for it.

Drawing on an unprecedented study of 3,000 young adults who entered public colleges and universities in Wisconsin in 2008 with the support of federal aid and Pell Grants, Goldrick-Rab reveals the devastating effect of these shortfalls. Half the students in the study left college without a degree, while less than 20 percent finished within five years. The cause of their problems, time and again, was lack of money. Unable to afford tuition, books, and living expenses, they worked too many hours at outside jobs, dropped classes, took time off to save money, and even went without adequate food or housing. In many heartbreaking cases, they simply left school—not with a degree, but with crippling debt. Goldrick-Rab combines that shocking data with devastating stories of six individual students, whose struggles make clear the horrifying human and financial costs of our convoluted financial aid policies.

America can fix this problem. In the final section of the book, Goldrick-Rab offers a range of possible solutions, from technical improvements to the financial aid application process, to a bold, public sector–focused “first degree free” program. What’s not an option, this powerful book shows, is doing nothing, and continuing to crush the college dreams of a generation of young people.

Praise

“Today’s college students face unprecedented costs to achieve undergraduate degrees. Many of these costs are not reflected on any balance sheet at the university’s financial aid office. Sara Goldrick-Rab’s Paying the Price: College Costs, Financial Aid and the Betrayal of the American Dream offers the first truly comprehensive accounting of the toll extracted from a generation of middle and working class Americans who cannot possibly keep pace with the expense of attending college. Goldrick-Rab maps the landscape of America’s college affordability crisis and gives that crisis a human face. She shows us how the system crushes dreams and offers practical solutions for fixing the mess we have made. Goldrick-Rab argues, ‘The first step in addressing the college affordability crisis is taking the problem seriously.’ Anyone who is serious about addressing this crisis must read this book.” —Melissa Harris-Perry

Paying the Price is an urgent and necessary text. Through rigorous research and careful analysis, Sara Goldrick-Rab shows how the American Dream is structurally compromised by the exorbitant costs of higher education and a thoroughly dysfunctional financial aid system. With texture and subtlety, Goldrick-Rab spotlights the journeys of students whose road to educational access and social mobility is obstructed by the current crisis. Equally important, she offers a practical and progressive action plan for creating a more fair and just system.” —Marc Lamont Hill, author of Nobody: Casualties of America's War on the Vulnerable, From Ferguson to Flint and Beyond

Sara Goldrick-Rab
Sara Goldrick-Rab

Sara Goldrick-Rab

Sara Goldrick-Rab is co-editor of Reinventing Financial Aid: Charting a New Course to College Affordability and has written on education issues for the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post. She is a recipient of the Early Career Award from the American Educational Research Association and the Atlantic, Slate, and NPR have covered her work. She founded the Wisconsin HOPE Lab, the nation’s first research laboratory aimed at making college affordable, and is a noted influence on the development of both federal and state higher education policies. Dr. Goldrick-Rab is professor of higher education policy and sociology at Temple University. Follow her on Twitter @saragoldrickrab.

Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138

Walking from the Harvard Square T station: 2 minutes

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Event Co-Sponsor(s)

Scholars Strategy Network: scholarsstrategynetwork.org

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Featured event books will be for sale at the event for 20% off. Thank you for supporting this author series with your purchases.
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