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Sandy Baum

Urban Institute

Sandy Baum is a senior fellow in the Income and Benefits Policy Center at the Urban Institute and professor emerita of economics at Skidmore College. An expert on higher education finance, she speaks and writes extensively about issues relating to college access, college pricing, student aid policy, student debt, and affordability.

Since 2002, Baum has coauthored the College Board’s annual publications Trends in Student Aid and Trends in College Pricing. She is a member of the board of the National Student Clearinghouse and has chaired major study groups through the College Board and the Brookings Institution, developing proposals for reforming federal and state student aid. Baum's articles on higher education finance have been published in professional journals, books, and the trade press. 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 National Science Foundation–funded Educational Attainment: Understanding the Data. Baum’s book Student Debt: Rhetoric and Realities of Higher Education Financing was published by Palgrave-Macmillan in 2016. Baum earned her B.A. in sociology from Bryn Mawr College, where she serves on the board of trustees, and earned her Ph.D. in economics from Columbia University.