High-Res Photos of Sara

Sara Goldrick-Rab's CV

Sara Goldrick-Rab is Professor of Higher Education Policy & Sociology at Temple University, and Founder of the Wisconsin HOPE Lab, the nation’s only translational research laboratory seeking ways to make college more affordable.

Dr. Goldrick-Rab’s commitment to scholar-activism is evidenced by her broad profile of research and writing dissecting the intended and unintended consequences of the college-for-all movement in the United States. In more than a dozen experimental, longitudinal, and mixed-methods studies, she has examined the efficacy and distributional implications of financial aid policies, welfare reform, transfer practices, and a range of interventions aimed at increasing college attainment among marginalized populations. She provides extensive service to local, state, and national communities, working directly with governors and state legislators to craft policies to make college more affordable, collaborating with non-profit organizations seeking to examine the effects of their practices, and providing technical assistance to Congressional staff, think tanks, and membership organizations throughout Washington, DC.

Many professional organizations and foundations have honored Dr. Goldrick-Rab for her work. In 2013, she was invited to testify before the United States Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, chaired by Senators Tom Harkin and Lamar Alexander. In 2014, she received the Early Career Award from the American Educational Research Association, and in 2015 she graduated from the William T. Grant Foundation’s five-year-long Faculty Scholars program. In 2016, POLITICO Magazine named her one of the top 50 people shaping American politics.

Dr. Goldrick-Rab is widely published in venues such as Educational Evaluation and Policy AnalysisSociology of EducationReview of Educational Research, and Teachers College Record, and co-edited a Harvard Education Press volume, Reinventing Financial Aid: Charting a New Course to College Affordability.  The American Educational Research Association bestowed its 2017 award for best research article on her study of financial aid and college employment.  Her latest book, Paying the Price: College Costs, Financial Aid, and the Betrayal of the American Dream(University of Chicago, 2016), is an Amazon best-seller and a 2018 winner of the Grawemeyer Award, and has been featured on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, the New York Review of Books, and CSPAN’s Book TV, among other venues.

The Chronicle of Higher Education calls Dr. Goldrick-Rab “a defender of impoverished students and a scholar of their struggles,” and she is ranked 7th in the nation among education scholars according to Education Week.


Dr. Goldrick-Rab's work is funded by:

  • Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation, Community Investments Program
  • The William T. Grant Foundation
  • The Spencer Foundation
  • The National Science Foundation
  • The Lumina Foundation
  • The Kresge Foundation
  • The Smith Richardson Foundation

Abbreviated Bio

Sara's Blog at Medium

Public Service

Expert Testimony

  • U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee (2013)
  • Oregon State Senate and Oregon House of Representatives (2015)
  • U.S. Congressional Advisory Committee on Student Financial Aid (2014, 2015)

Board Membership

  • Albert Shanker Institute (2015-)
  • American Federation of Teachers, Higher Education Program and Policy Council (2014-)
  • Contexts magazine, “The Public Face of Sociology” (2015-2018)
  • Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis (2013-2016)

Student & Advisee Highlights

Sara works with students in education and many social science disciplines.
Here are a few examples of her students’ successes!