GAO’s Education, Workforce, and Income Security Team

Posted on January 21, 2015

GAO’s workforce is organized largely by subject area, with many of its employees working in one of 14 mission teams. Today we’ll be putting the spotlight on the Education, Workforce, and Income Security (EWIS) team, which focuses on programs and legislation that affect Americans’ quality of life from infancy to old age.

Reports The EWIS team’s reports cover these issue areas: You can learn more about our work by checking out our High Risk issue areas on Improving and Modernizing Federal Disability Programs and Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation Insurance Programs. Impact In fiscal year 2014, EWIS identified $376 million in financial benefits for the federal government as well as 41 other efficiencies. Directors from EWIS testified at 10 congressional hearings. A Closer Look at an EWIS Report: Higher Education Affordability As state funding for public colleges becomes increasingly limited, there are concerns that rising college costs may be making higher education unaffordable for many students and their families. We found that, starting in fiscal year 2012, student tuition made up a higher percent of public colleges’ revenue than state funding.


Excerpted from GAO-15-151

We identified several potential approaches the federal government could take to expand incentives to states to improve college affordability, such as
  • creating new grants,
  • providing more consumer information on affordability, or
  • changing federal student aid programs.
Each of these approaches may have advantages and challenges, including cost implications for the federal government and consequences for students.