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Treasury Department Reports College Education Boosts Competitiveness

December 14, 2012

On December 13, 2012, the U.S. Department of the Treasury (Treasury), together with the U.S. Department of Education (ED), issued a report and corresponding fact sheet on the economic imperative of investing in education. The report touches on the current state of higher education, financial aid and policies to promote accessibility and affordability.

In a Treasury blog post promoting the report, Jan Eberly, Assistant Secretary for Economic Policy and Chief Economist at Treasury and Carmel Martin, Assistant Secretary for Planning, Evaluation and Policy Development at ED, focus on the key finds of the report:

  • Students are bearing a greater share of the college costs than a generation ago.
  • People with more education typically earn more and have a lower likelihood of being unemployed.
  • Education significantly increases the ability of children to move up the economic ladder.

Eberly and Martin all bring attention to the Obama administration policies of:

  • Raising Pell grants
  • Introducing the American Opportunity Tax Credit
  • Keeping Stafford loan interest rates low
  • Expanding income-based repayment

In conclusion, the report contends, "As budgets at all levels of government are likely to remain under pressure, policy makers will continue to face tradeoffs between education and other public priorities, and it is crucial that we all remain well-informed about the impact of higher education for individuals and society at large."


Liz Clark
Senior Director, Federal Affairs