Sandy Baum

  • Urban Institute

Sandy Baum is a Senior Fellow at the Urban Institute and Professor Emerita of Economics at Skidmore College. She has written and spoken extensively on issues relating to college access, college pricing, student aid policy, student debt, affordability, and other aspects of higher education finance. Baum has co-authored the College Board’s annual publications Trends in Student Aid and Trends in College Pricing since 2002. She also co-authors Education Pays: The Benefits of Higher Education for Individuals and Society. She chaired the College Board’s Rethinking Student Aid study group, which issued comprehensive proposals for reform of the federal student aid system in 2008, and the Rethinking Pell Grants study group, which issued recommendations in April 2013. Baum chaired a Brookings Institution study group that issued its report, Beyond Need and Merit: Strengthening State Grant Programs in May 2012. Her recent work includes studies of how behavioral economics can inform student aid policy; a meaningful definition of college affordability; tuition and financial aid strategies for broad access public institutions; and the NSF-funded Educational Attainment: Understanding the Data. Her book, Student Debt: Rhetoric and Realities of Higher Education Financing, will come out in summer 2016. Baum is a member of the Board of the National Student Clearinghouse. She earned her B.A. in sociology at Bryn Mawr College, where she is currently a member of the Board of Trustees, and her Ph.D. in economics at Columbia University.