Higher Education
A fresh look at college affordability

The sticker price of some universities can easily deter students, but new research argues that affordability is a far more nuanced matter than just the cost of tuition, fees, books, room and board.

The Urban Institute has launched an online project looking at the intersection of the cost and the value of college. Judging whether higher education is economical depends on the credential being pursued, the upfront investment, the odds of completion and the long-term value, said researchers at the think tank.

“It’s not a yes or no question: Is college affordable? The amount you can and should pay depends on what it is you’re paying for and what you’re getting for that investment,” said Sandy Baum, a senior fellow at the institute

— Danielle Douglas-Gabriel

100,000

Number of taxpayers whose personal data may have been stolen in a security breach involving applications for federal student aid, the IRS disclosed last week.