Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Postsecondary Success

Our Reimagining Aid Design and Delivery (RADD) project has brought together 25 organizations to conduct independent research and analysis on the challenges created by the current financial aid system. The reports below represent the first phase of the RADD research and address topics such as simplifying the student loan application process, reforming loan repayments, and improving the tax-based student aid system.


Repairing a Broken System: Fixing Federal Student Aid, Alliance for Excellent Education
The report, “Repairing a Broken System: Fixing Federal Student Aid,” outlines a comprehensive approach for revamping the student aid system into one that better supports students and higher education institutions.

Improving the Financial Aid System to Increase College Completion, America’s Promise Alliance
The report from America’s Promise Alliance details key ideas developed at the February 2013 Building a Grad Nation Summit..

Federal Student Aid: Access and Completion, Association of Public & Land-Grant Universities
The white paper makes recommendations to improve standards and incentives for colleges and universities serving at-risk students, including development of a “student risk index” to help the U.S. Department of Education and others acknowledge and take into consideration the effects of the risk characteristics of the students enrolled at a particular institution.

A New Partnership: The Road to Reshaping Federal and State Financial Aid, Committee for Economic Development
The report from the Committee for Economic Development identifies key issues facing the federal financial aid system, makes recommendations for reforming those systems, and assesses the intended outcomes of the redesigns.

Reforming Student Aid: How to Simplify Tax Aid and Use Performance Metrics to Improve College Choices and Completion, Center for Law and Social Policy
The report focuses on two federal policy areas that have received little attention — tax-based student aid and the use of performance metrics in student aid policy — to develop principles for guiding student aid reform choice and to make the financial aid system more effective, more efficient, and simpler for students and their families to understand and use.

Doing Away With Debt: Using Existing Resources to Ensure College Affordability for Low and Middle-Income Families, The Education Trust
The report 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.

Using a Latino Lens to Reimagine Aid Design and Delivery, Excelencia in Education
The report examines the federal financial aid structure with primary focus on interests and challenges specific to Latino students.

The American Dream 2.0: How financial aid can help improve college access, affordability, and completion, HCM Strategist, Inc
The report provides recommendations to make the financial aid process simpler and more transparent, as well as recommend how  institutions, states, and students can share responsibility for producing graduates who are qualified without compromising access or affordability.

Redesigning Federal Financial Aid, Institute for a Competitive Workforce
The report explores the redesign of federal financial aid from the business community’s perspective — specifically addressing how to maximize the public’s investment and improve student outcomes.s.

Making Sense of the System: Financial Aid for the 21st-Century Student, Institute for Higher Education Policy
The white paper outlines 13 federal policy recommendations for improving the financial aid system so that more students can attend and succeed in college and ultimately earn valuable postsecondary degrees and credentials..

Rebalancing Resources and Incentives in Federal Student Aid, New America Foundation
The report by New America Foundation highlights more than 30 specific policy recommendations for the federal financial aid system that are budget-neutral over a 10-year span.

Reimagining Financial Aid to Improve Student Access and Outcomes, National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators
The report by National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, examines current financial aid systems and how they can be improved upon, with an eye towards student loan reform and streamlining and improving consumer information.

Increasing Return on Investment from Federal Student Aid, National College Access Network
The report from National College Access Network favors an overhaul of the federal financial aid system, and identifies the price of higher education, the lack of relevant, accessible information, and insufficient graduation resources as the main barriers to improved attendance and retention rates in postsecondary institutions.

Education Transforms Lives: Postsecondary Affordability Survey and Focus Groups, National Urban League
The National Urban League report summarizes information from seven focus groups to make recommendations for the reform of federal financial aid systems to help improve the number and employability of African American students.

Aligning the Means and the Ends: How to Improve Federal Student Aid and Increase College Access and Success, The Institute for College Access & Success
The white paper calls for major changes to federal student aid, including Pell Grants, student loans, and tax benefits, with the goals of increasing college affordability and completion.

The Student Perspective on Federal Financial Aid Reform, Young Invincibles
The report from Young Invincibles presents the student perspective on federal financial aid systems and makes recommendations to support transparency and simplicity in the financial aid process.

See the RADD Phase II research for more reports from the New America Foundation, National Urban League, and the College Board, among other partners.