Sandy Baum

Non Resident Senior Fellow, Urban Institute
Speaker, Business Skills for PhDs in Academia and Beyond

Sandy Baum is a nonresident senior fellow at the Urban Institute and professor emerita of economics at Skidmore College. Dr. Baum earned her B.A. in sociology at Bryn Mawr College, where she served on the Board of Trustees from 2012 through 2022, and her Ph.D. in economics at Columbia University. She has written and spoken extensively on issues relating to college access, college pricing, student aid policy, student debt, affordability, and other aspects of higher education finance. 

Dr. Baum co-authored the College Board’s annual publications Trends in Student Aid and Trends in College Pricing from 2002 through 2019. She has published numerous articles on higher education finance in professional journals, books, and the trade press. She is the principalresearcher on the Urban Institute’s websites on college affordability and state grant aid and her recent work includes Urban Institute briefs on state grant programs, institutional accountability, funding short-term certificate study, and nontuition expenses. She is the author of Student Debt: Rhetoric and Realities of Higher Education Financing (Palgrave Macmillan 2016) and co-author of Making College Work: Pathways to Success for Disadvantaged Students (Brookings Institution Press 2017), Can College Level the Playing Field: Higher Education in an Unequal Society (Princeton University Press, 2022) and Campus Economics: How Economic Thinking Can Help Improve College and University Decisions (Princeton University Press, 2023).

Dr. Baum publishes frequent blog posts on the Urban Wire at