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"Sarah Pingel and Brian Prescott: Principles for use in redesigning state financial aid" is a podcast interview with Sarah Pingel, a policy analyst with Education Commission of the States (ECS) and Brian Prescott, Director of Policy Research at the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE). Pingel and Prescott discuss Redesigning State Financial Aid: Principles to Guide State Aid Policy Making a report recently released by ECS in which Pingel is the lead author and Prescott a key member of the Thinkers Group responsible for examining key issues and synthesizing the findings of the report.

Pingel discusses the principles outlined in the report, noting that state financial aid programs should be student centered, goal driven and data informed, timely and flexible, and broadly inclusive of students’ educational pathways. Since many of the state financial aid programs were designed prior to 1990 for students entering higher education directly from high school, there is a need for states to redesign their financial aid programs to meet the needs of today’s students. To assist states in this process, ECS has developed a state based financial aid database ( and will be offering technical support for state policy makers.

Prescott continues the conversation by highlighting the importance of state financial aid programs as the ultimate determination of affordability for students with regard to appropriations and setting the price of tuition. Prescott contends state financial programs could be better utilized not just to motivate students, but to also provide support for institutions in their efforts to improve their relationship with states and the students they serve. Utilizing state financial aid programs in this way could help states and institutions better serve students and aid in closing demographic achievement gaps.

Interview facilitation, commentary and discussion presented by Kathryn Dodge, Alison Griffin, and Elise Scanlon of Radio Higher Ed.

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Radio Higher Ed, LLC

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Copyright © 2015 Radio Higher Ed . All Rights Reserved. Podcast Intro and Exit music by Won (FLT RSK) / CC BY-NC 3.0 Produced in conjunction with the Average Guy Podcast Network.