Higher education advocacy groups Education Reform Now and Partners for College Affordability and Public Trust today released a joint policy report detailing how a new funding model for Virginia’s public colleges and universities can help encourage outcomes. educational and postgraduate education that lead to greater upward social mobility for all students. .
Fair Funding and the Future of Higher Education in Virginia Report Highlights the Disconnect Between Current State Funding Levels for Virginia’s Public Higher Education Institutions and Their Effectiveness in Boosting Socioeconomic Mobility in the Commonwealth.
For example, George Mason University ranked second best in the state in a recent ranking of college and university success in increasing economic mobility, yet it receives the smallest amount of money per student from all four-year colleges.
Virginia ranks 41st in the nation for its enrollment rate of students eligible for federal Pell Grants, which primarily go to students from households with incomes below $30,000.
“State investments in our public colleges and universities should promote and incentivize outcomes that matter to Virginians and create better opportunities for all students, regardless of background,” said James Murphy of Education Reform Now. in a press release. “When you compare funding levels with economic mobility indicators, it’s clear that the two are grossly misaligned.”
Stacie Gordon of Partners for College Affordability and Public Trust agrees.
“As state legislators invest a record $1 billion in new public funding for Virginia’s public colleges and universities, finding the right funding formula is more important than ever. By addressing this issue, Virginia can ensure that its public institutions once again become an engine of social mobility and economic growth,” Gordon said.