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College Student Aid

  • Date Submitted: 12/04/2012 01:54 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 54.9 
  • Words: 485
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Student Aid Is Based on Need not Merit
There is no credible evidence that student aid is driving up college tuition rates. Such claims confuse cause and effect. There were no increases in federal student-loan limits, yet tuition steadily climbed. There were no increases in the maximum Pell Grant for four years during the Bush administration, yet tuition continued to increase.
      The facts are clear: Increases in financial aid have not led to the skyrocketing increase in tuition, but rather have failed to keep pace with it. One exception: To the extent that financial aid has allowed students to afford college, it’s come in the form of student loans rather than grants, and the student-loan burden is quickly reaching crisis proportions. If student loans are contributing to increased tuition, that’s a bubble that’s soon to burst.
      All too often, we in higher education, when we consider need-based financial aid and access to college for the underprivileged, often fail to connect college with the education that comes before it.
      The problem for low-income students isn’t a lack of aid—it’s a lack of quality education at the K-12 level. Almost the only way to expand educational opportunity to the truly needy is through academic, not financial, reform. Too many kids at the K-12 level never have a chance to become college-ready.
      The U.S. has a K-12 education funding system that is bizarrely regressive. It’s based on local property taxes, which means that the poorest communities will always have the poorest schools and that arrangement will stay in place into perpetuity. Why don’t we have a national or at the very least a statewide system of funding K-12 education, so that the lack of preparation would ultimately disappear?
      Another point is   the rise of for-profits. They currently educate 13 percent of American college students but they account for 37 percent of federally guaranteed student-loan debt and a considerable amount of Pell Grant...

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