In an adjustment problem: how the complexity of university prices harms students and universities (University of Chicago Press), Phillip B. Levine explores how confusing is the university price system for a typical student or father. For example, the most expensive universities (at the price of the label) can be less expensive for a student to enroll that less expensive universities (at the price of the label) due to the help offered in the most expensive institutions.

Levine, Katharine Coman's economy professor and A. Barton Hepburn in Wellesley College, addresses the problems that confuse many people about enrollment and financial aid. And he offers some solutions, such as the plan to double the Pell subsidy (more about that below). He answered by email to questions about the book.

P: How do you discover how much does it cost to go to college? Note many problems to answer that question, so I'm not looking for a number. But how could I find out what costs of the university, considering the range of public and private institutions, of two years and four years? And the availability (in some of these institutions) of generous aid?

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a: what the Students and their parents really need to know is what it will cost to attend a university or university in particular. The price of the label is irrelevant unless the student comes from a family of high income. The "net price" (price of label less financial aid based on subsidies) is not the real cost they will pay unless they come from a family with "average" finance. The real price they will pay in the various institutions that they are considering can only be calculated with precision after taking into account the financial aid that takes into account its own financial situation.

The best bet for families at this time is to look out of net price calculators on the website of each institution. They have significant limitations, since it details it in my book. They are often not simple to use, but they will inform individualized cost estimates if complete. I must point out that the non -profit organization I execute (myintuition.org) provides estimates of simplified and individualized costs for 73 schools and universities.

: Why shouldn't we go to the free community university to give people people? A start that would be free?

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A: A fundamental premise of my book, as highlighted in the title, is that each student must attend an institution that is the best option for them, regardless of the financial situation of their family. Community schools provide outstanding opportunities for academically appropriate students. Firmly support the policies designed to increase registration in community schools among these students, particularly those who could not assist university otherwise. Free Community College has that potential.

My concern is that students who would benefit more from attending four -year -old institutions would change to enroll in a community university. Past evidence indicates that this can happen. A better policy would make the price affordable for low -income students in all institutions, which allows them to choose those that would be the best with them. Subsidizing only one type of institution would interfere with that process.

Q: Following COVID-19, it seems that we are in a pattern of elite universities (public and private) very well and most other universities that fight. When he says that the problem with the complexity of university costs harms universities, how does different types of universities harm?

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