Dynarski teaches economics, statistics and education policy at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where her research focuses on college costs, charter schools, inequality and financial aid for college. She is a nationally recognized expert, ranking among the top ten most influential economists working on education policy. She is frequently quoted in news outlets such as the New York Times and Wall Street Journal. She has testified about education and tax policy before the U.S. Senate Finance Committee, the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee and the President's Commission on Tax Reform.
In the News
Reviews what is known and not known about the efficacy of various student aid programs; shows that, which lowering costs can improve college access, the complexity of program requirements and applications can reduce access to the funding that would improve college completion rates.
Recommends changes to the federal student aid system that would increase college enrollment and remove barriers to enrollment for otherwise qualified students, such as revising daunting FAFSA requirements.
Describes the complexity of the aid system, and applies lessons from optimal tax theory and behavioral economics to show that complexity is a serious obstacle to both efficiency and equity in the distribution of student aid; uses detailed data from federal student aid applications to show that a radically simplified aid process can reproduce the current distribution of aid using a fraction of the information now collected.