Though a diverse group of institutions, private colleges have all faced challenges during the recent economic downturn. Industry experts like Dr. Jamie Comstock, the Director of the American Council on Education’s (ACE) Executive Leadership Group, can see that universities need to adjust to the coming changes in higher education. Before she joined ACE, Dr. Jamie Comstock spent over a decade in executive roles at American colleges and universities.
Recently, a group of college presidents meeting in Florida discussed possible solutions to current problems in financial aid. In recent years, many schools have increased their merit-based financial aid while decreasing need-based aid. The college presidents of this meeting argued that the decrease in need-based aid has made it harder for students from impoverished homes and minority backgrounds to attend college, especially as unemployment remains high. The presidents proposed ending merit aid and moving away from a system of high tuition combined with large financial aid packages. They also suggested ending bidding wars for high achieving students.