About Sandy Baum

Sandy Baum is an expert on the successes and challenges of higher education. She speaks and writes extensively about issues relating to college access, pricing, student aid policy, student debt, and affordability.

Dr. Baum’s most recent book, co-authored with Michael McPherson, is Can College Level the Playing Field: Higher Education in an Unequal Society (Princeton Press 2022). She is also the co-author with Harry Holzer of Making College Work: Pathways to Success for Disadvantaged Students (Brookings 2017) and author of Student Debt: Rhetoric and Realities of Higher Education Financing(Springer 2016).

Baum co-authored the College Board’s annual reports Trends in Student Aid and Trends in College Pricing from 2002 through 2019. Her recent work focuses on student debt, loan repayment, state grant programs, and accountability for institutions. Find selected recent publications here.

A sought-after expert in the field of higher education, Baum has testified before Senate and House committees on matters of higher-education finance and is a frequent commentator in national news media. Review recent news articles, or contact Baum for expert commentary here.

Baum is a senior fellow in the Center on Education Data and Policy at the Urban Institute and was for many years a professor of economics at Skidmore College.

Baum earned her BA in sociology from Bryn Mawr College, where she served on the board of trustees from 2012 to 2022, and earned her PhD in economics from Columbia University.