Latest Posts from New America Blogs

Recent posts from all the blogs on NewAmerica.net can be found below. A full listing of all the blogs to which New America fellows and scholars regularly contribute can be found here.

Guest Post: Recap from New America NYC: Rich Hill

August 1, 2014
Publication Image Editor's Note: This post, which was originally published on the New America NYC blog, provides a summary of an Asset Building Program event featuring a screening of the film Rich Hill on July 31, 2014 at New America's New York space. It was written by Tyler S. Bugg, an Associate with New America NYC.

Asset Building News Week, July 28-August 1

August 1, 2014
Publication Image The Asset Building News Week is a weekly Friday feature on The Ladder, the Asset Building Program blog, designed to help readers keep up with news and developments in the asset building field. This week's topics include family balance sheets, public assistance, and housing.

Fast Track Eases Medicaid Enrollment, but Implementation Matters Too

July 29, 2014
Publication Image Relatively simple policy changes can make a big difference in helping people get access to health insurance – and health coverage helps many families stay afloat in the wake of a medical issue. In the span of just a few months, approximately 750,000 people were newly identified as eligible for Medicaid in California. How? California recently implemented a new, streamlined approach to let people know they qualify for Medicaid. In anticipation of the increasing number of adults applying for health coverage due to the Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) promoted a strategy called Fast Track to accelerate eligibility and enrollment processes. Fast Track has been highly successful in connecting more families with services they qualify for and states have also saved significantly because of its efficiency; however, California has provided a textbook example of how implementation challenges influence a policy’s effectiveness.

Asset Building News Week, July 21-25

July 25, 2014
Publication Image The Asset Building News Week is a weekly Friday feature on The Ladder, the Asset Building Program blog, designed to help readers keep up with news and developments in the asset building field. This week's topics include financial services and knowledge, poverty, and jobs.

Chasing the College Dream in Hard Economic Times

July 25, 2014
By: Nicholas Brock

A new report published by ACT examines the financial burdens placed on families in funding their children’s college education, particularly after the economic downturn. Despite the availability of federal student loans used to help lessen this burden, families whose adjusted gross annual income is at least $23,000 are expected to contribute to their dependent students’ education, per the federal government’s expected family contribution (EFC) formula. Because of this, family contribution has become a critical part of the college affordability equation, despite the fact that family income is declining.

Among the report’s other findings:
  • For the 2011–2012 school year, parents contributed approximately 37% of the total cost of college attendance: 28% from parent income and savings and 9% from parent loans.
  • Since 2006, average family income declined by approximately 12%.
    • The average family income for African American and Hispanic families is almost half that of White and Asian families.
  • The net price for a four-year postsecondary institution increased from $10,270 in 2006–07 to $12,110 in 2012–13 (an 18% increase).
    • The net price constituted about 15% of family income in 2006–07 as compared with 19% in 2012–13.
  • Despite declining resources and family income for minority students, college enrollment continued to rise during the recession among these groups..
    • Hispanic and African American students experienced the greatest increase in enrollment between 2006 and 2011 (7.2 and 4.5 percentage points, respectively).
While more work is needed to eliminate the gap in college enrollment between disadvantaged minorities and white students, increased information and access to financial aid has been somewhat successful in moderating the impact of the economic downturn.