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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Can We Make College Affordable Again?

According to a White House news release, as many as 1.5 million college students eligible for Pell grants, have never applied. This is because the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which can contain as many as 153 questions, discourages participation. Some streamlining is already in place. Others changes will be phased in over the next few months. The goal --are designed to increase postsecondary enrollment, particularly among low- and middle-income students.

You can find information about federal aid for college here.


Anonymous said...

On NPR yesterday they said that Obama already put a new application in place that is much shorter and he also changed other rules like allowing people under 24 that don't live with their parents or are married not to have to claim their parents incomes. I believe that's what was said.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Yes, some changes are already in place. But as explained in the news release, others will require legislative changes.

Anonymous said...

Put two through college recently. The FAFSA was plain old nasty. Dreaded.

Anonymous said...

"Nothing is easier in politics than setting some arbitrary goal — preferably based on numbers — and go after it, in utter disregard of the costs or the repercussions. That is how we got into the housing boom and bust, by mindlessly pursuing ever-higher statistics of home ownership. The same political game can be played by making ever higher miles per gallon the goal for automobiles, ever more "open space," ever more — you name it. "
Thomas Sowell 6/24/09

LVCI said...

I do realize there a number of academic scholarships available out there. But it sure would be nice to have something like a single pool of competition awards nationwide available for let's say 1,000 (whatever number) top performing high school students throughout the country. These 1,000 would then receive an entirely FREE ivy league college education. Perhaps everyone could take the test in their senior year. The goal being the top performers, no matter what their financial background would receive an education that would benefit this nation as well as themselves.

Students, who lack the funds, could then be part of this nation's greatest assets rather then being overlooked as many are currently. Many of these are available at colleges now, but... is each and every HS in America telling these kids about them? NO.

These competition application forms could be handed out to EACH AND EVERY HS student each January in EACH AN EVERY HS across all 50 states. That way none could say they were left out of the offerings available through the lack of being informed by their councilors. Face it, college currently is skewed towards the ability to pay rather then the ability to perform academically. Even though handed a free education, these scholars would benefit the nation economically in the long term

LVCI said...

PS: The argument could be made that Pell Grants do this. No really. It has more complexity then a genetic gnome to fully understand all it's complexities. Here just take a peek at the financial ins and outs.. WHEW! My idea is based entirely on scholarly achievements to ANY college, not limited to just "participating" institutions.

Anonymous said...

Ease in the application would help.

However, I have filled out the FAFSA 6 times and the College Board PROFILE 4 times.

It is not that hard.

Fill in the blanks.

As to having only 1,000 free scholarships available for the best and the brightest, what do you do with the other millions who wish to go to school, but get a 91 (or even an 87) instead of a 97 on the test?

We have to somehow balance our desire to provide opportunity with the reality of developing a cadre of elite talent.

I think American has not figured that out how to do that, yet.


Colleges are what?

A business.

What do they make or sell?

Education (or propaganda, depending on what school you go to)

What are ALL businesses, in theory supposed to do?

Turn a profit.


Among other things, they have employees (like college professors) to pay, buildings to maintain, etc.

So, why are colleges here?

They are here to make money, to turn a profit.


Do you think colleges REALLY care about the poor?

Let's start again.

Colleges are what?

A business competing with others in the same industry...

Anonymous said...

LVCI - take a look at this...




I have no problem with capitalism, so, if Muhlenberg College wants to charge $43,435 (2009 full tuition including room and board), I could care less.

More power to them.

It is funny to watch the utopians rationalize that though :)

LVCI said...

IRONPIGPEN said... "Colleges are what? A business"
Oh absolutely... I agree. Many recruit based on work out centers, sports, etc. to attract those with a fat wallet. However these extras won't equate to most valued educational degrees from the highest rated colleges when it comes to future employment. No doubt about it being a multi-billion dollar business. Doesn't make it wrong necessarily, but big business it certainly is!

Anonymous (9:28 AM) said..." As to having only 1,000 free scholarships available for the best and the brightest, what do you do with the other millions who wish to go to school"
I did say.. "(whatever number)". I just threw out any old number for the point of discussion. Part of the problem today is everybody's got one! Kind of waters down the whole shebang. So limiting this, places quality over quantity like we have today.

Anonymous (11:57AM) said... "LVCI - take a look at this... http://www.nationalmerit.org/nmsp.php"
However these start at $2,500.. NONE of these indicate that they will do 100% which is what I was suggesting. LVH (for example) has a great reimbursement program arrangement with Cedar Crest College. Something the "National Merit Scholarship" program would fall far short of financing. It's a start, but won't get you the full ride.

Anonymous said...

Universities are a business. They have lowered the bar to make more profits.

Anyone and everyone can go to college. Grades are not an issue and tuition isn't an issue. You can always get a loan. If you are other than Caucasian you can usually find someway to go for free.

Cannot guarantee that you can always pay back the loan. Cannot guarantee you will even make enough money to earn a living post graduation, loan or no loan.

And if your education is free will you attach any value to it?

Higher education is good and is valuable but it has gone to far. It borders on being a scam. Too many smart people running around that do not have any sense at all i.e. idiots with all kinds of degrees including PhDs.

This is the next bubble to burst. They can pay Chrysler and GM's debts. Why can't they pay the common mans school loan.

All you end up with in the end is more resentful people who have not found the Nirvana they thought they would after getting the degree.

I bet there has been no other time in our history where we have had so many graduates working in and competing for minimum wage jobs as we do now.

The education system is a big joke about to get it's last laugh.

Rising Sun said...


I actually tend to agree with you on this in general, that private colleges should set their own rates, and in turn, set the value of their degrees. I have one slight, small, nagging issue though. Muhlenberg, my alma mater of Moravian, Lafayette, and most small colleges of their ilk, aren't they tax classified as non-profits.

Joe Hilliard said...

More government subsidies means higher college costs. It is a formula.

And, the first major bailout of 2008 was for the government sponsored college loan program. Many graduates could not pay back their loans because they did not earn enough money. But the "higher education" scam continues. This started the whole bailout cascade we have endured over the last year.

A college education, like anything else in life, should be earned. While some help is worthy and justified, like any other government program, it has become an entitlement and a subsidy for anyone who feels like they deserve it.

And, tragically, the value of a college education has been greatly diminished because many institutions merely try to cycle people through their programs instead of actually educating people. And when they get in the 'real world' they are woefully unprepared.

We should follow other models which work better. Education in trades would be much better for many individuals and society as a whole. Learning to be a good technician or some other trade will produce great earnings for many individuals and society.

Our problem is that our society has learned to worship pieces of paper instead of actual skills and performance at a job or trade.

I know this for a fact. I have seen many 'engineers' with a paper degree who were useless and knew little. And I have seen technicians without a college degree who really knew their stuff.

Get government less involved and the results will be better.

Anonymous said...

Colleges have truly lost their way - charging upwards of $40K to learn basic courses in the first two years while demonstating a kids independence is crazy. I think the time is right for the colleges to pony up with a tiered tuition rate - $10K year 1, $20K year 2, and then if you make it that far - They can hit you for the $40-50K number. Now you have a career path in mind and can pay for the expertise the professors offer.