Lower price for higher ed

Federal student loan and grant programs have not made college more affordable. They have merely provided billions of dollars in taxpayer money to help pay for it.

President Barack Obama wants to add $2 billion a year to that price tag by expanding the Pell Grant program. Congress should say no.

Pell grants already provide $29 billion a year in assistance to college students, with few, if any, strings attached to prod higher education to hold down costs.

Incredibly, part of Obama’s idea is to pay grant recipients $300 to reward them if they take 15 or more credits’ worth of work in a semester. Why not insist on that as a requirement for any assistance, unless special circumstances are involved?

Making college more affordable is a laudable, vital goal – but Obama’s proposal would not do it.

Last summer, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan suggested the government should be paying more attention to whether students are getting their money’s worth at colleges and universities. Federal aid involving higher education should focus “on whether students are actually graduating in a timely way with a meaningful degree,” he explained.

Apparently, Obama and liberals in Congress were not listening. Duncan may well have had ideas such as the president’s in mind when he suggested that current higher education policy is “merely finding better ways of paying for an unsustainable status quo.”

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