Robert Kelchen


Not-so-Free College and the Disappointment Effect

One of the most appealing aspects of tuition-free higher education proposals is that they convey a simple message about higher education affordability. Although students will need to come up with a substantial amount of money to cover textbooks, fees, and living expenses, one key expense will be covered if students hold up their end of… Read more »

Examining Variations in Marriage Rates Across Colleges

This piece originally appeared at the Brookings Institution’s Brown Center Chalkboard blog. Young adulthood is not only the time when most people attend college, but also a time when many marry. In fact, college attendance and marriage are linked and have social and economic consequences for individuals and their families. When (and if) people get… Read more »

Examining Trends in the Pell Grant Program

The U.S. Department of Education recently released its annual report on the federal Pell Grant program, which provides detailed information about the program’s finances and who is receiving grants. The most recent report includes data from the 2015-16 academic year, and I summarize the data and trends over the last two decades in this annual… Read more »

The Tangled Web of Student Debt Consolidation Companies

Like seemingly most American households, the Kelchens get far more junk in the mail than actual mail of value. We get about as many credit card applications as our shredder can handle, as well as folks trying to sell us a broad array of products and services. But letters that mention student loan debt and… Read more »