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Great Teaching Minds: Education Professor Wins National Award  

Robert Kelchen headshotRobert Kelchen, assistant professor of higher education in the College of Education and Human Services, was recently recognized for his contributions to literature on higher education. At its annual convention in June, the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NAFSAA) presented Kelchen with the Robert P. Huff Golden Quill Award, which recognizes individuals for their contributions to the body of research on student financial aid..

NAFSAA honored Kelchen for his 2018 book, Higher Education Accountability, which studied the way colleges respond to accountability pressures from regulators, accreditation agencies, rankings providers and media outlets. Kelchen's book, NAFSAA said, "contributed greatly to the literature on higher education, revealing the rationale behind accountability and outlines the historical development of how federal and state policies, accreditation practices, private-sector interests, and internal requirements have become so important to institutional success and survival."

Kelchen is a widely sought out expert and thought leader on student debt and financial aid. Kelchen is regularly cited and quoted in major media outlets including The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Atlantic, Inside Higher Ed, MarketWatch and the Wall Street Journal. Kelchen contributes to the Brown Center Chalkboard for the Brookings Institution and is a fellow with the Bipartisan Policy Center's Higher Education Project.

In 2018, the William T. Grant Foundation awarded Kelchen and his co-investigators a grant of more than $200,000 for their research, "Examining the Impact of Variations in Performance-Based Funding Policies on Reducing Inequality in Student Outcomes." Also in 2018, Kelchen received a grant of more than $30,000 from the AccessLex/Association for Institutional Research for his research, "Response to Federal Loan Policy Changes: Examination of the Bennett Hypothesis in Professional School Prices." Kelchen also received grants from Seton Hall University and the Institute for Research on Poverty. 

Kelchen's research and influence has attracted the attention of policymakers. New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy named Kelchen to the Making College Affordable Working Group of the Task Force on New Jersey's Plan for Higher Education. Kelchen is also a member of the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association Higher Education Finance working group.

Kelchen's influence extends to social media. In 2017, Kelchen was named one of Third Way Education's higher education social media influencers, and The Chronicle of Higher Education named Kelchen one of its 15 Most Indispensable Academic Twitter Accounts. Follow Dr. Kelchen on Twitter @rkelchen.

Categories: Campus Life

For more information, please contact:

  • Michael Ricciardelli
  • (973) 378-9845
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