$5.3B goes to students who government says don't need it

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    Nov 26, 2011 4:35 PM GMT
    http://www.usatoday.com/news/education/story/2011-11-24/college-aid-tax-credits-students/51388212/1

    Universities and colleges are giving $5.3 billion in aid this year to students who the federal government says don't need financial help, according to figures from the College Board.

    An additional $4 billion in federal tuition tax credits went to families making $100,000 to $180,000 — at least double the median income for U.S. households.

    The schools use the money — more than 20% of all U.S. financial aid — to compete for applicants who have high grade-point averages and SAT scores. Some discounts serve another purpose: They lure high-income families that can write a check for the rest of the tuition.

    The strategy is not unlike department stores that use discounts to encourage customers to spend. "Giving $5,000 against a $25,000 tuition charge is just like the discounting you'd see in a retail operation to bring traffic to the door," says Jonathan Burdick, dean of financial aid and admissions at the University of Rochester.

    Elite universities such as Harvard, Yale and Stanford give aid to families earning as much as $200,000, which less-selective schools say puts pressure on them to also offer grants to higher-income families. Education experts say such subsidies mean less help for lower- and middle-income students, who fall deeper into debt to pay tuition.

    The share of financial aid going to low-income students has declined steadily over the past 10 years, and two-thirds of students borrow to pay for college. The Project on Student Debt, a research group that tracks borrowing for college, reports that students graduate owing an average of $25,250. "We've raised tuition tremendously, and we are giving a lot of the money to people who could be fine without it," says Sandy Baum, a higher-education analyst who collected the statistics for the College Board, an association of colleges that administers the SAT.

    Baum found that colleges and universities awarded $5.3 billion worth of grants to families beyond what they qualified for under the federal government's definition of financial need, which is based on income, assets and the cost of the institution a student chooses to attend.
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    Nov 26, 2011 9:01 PM GMT
    WOW 5.3 billion! OMG Holy shit!

    How about the trillions spent on "defense" and two questionable wars? Why not bitch about that?
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    Nov 26, 2011 9:11 PM GMT
    conscienti1984 saidWOW 5.3 billion! OMG Holy shit!

    How about the trillions spent on "defense" and two questionable wars? Why not bitch about that?


    I'm not sure they're questionable though by that measure most wars are questionable. What about Libya? Just because some other expenditures are questionable doesn't mean you can't question others - this above all is frankly what makes you "not a conservative".
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    Nov 26, 2011 9:44 PM GMT
    riddler78 said
    conscienti1984 saidWOW 5.3 billion! OMG Holy shit!

    How about the trillions spent on "defense" and two questionable wars? Why not bitch about that?


    I'm not sure they're questionable though by that measure most wars are questionable. What about Libya? Just because some other expenditures are questionable doesn't mean you can't question others - this above all is frankly what makes you "not a conservative".


    Wasteful spending is wasteful spending and should be remedied. If the government wasted 5.3 billion dollars then they should find ways to make sure the financial aid program is made more efficient and accountable. End of story.

    However, my comment was more about a frustration with those who point out small acts of wasteful spending (funding for NPR, Planned Parenthood, the National Endowment for the Arts, corporate jets tax breaks, Acorn, etc) for political talking points while ignoring the much larger causes of our national debt ("defense" spending, wars, rising health care costs, Medicare/Medicaid, and Social Security).

    I think Libya was a great achievement for the Libyan people and NATO. Still, there is a long road ahead for Libya, but ONLY the Libyans can create a free and democratic republic.

    And what makes me "not a conservative" is more complex then you care to understand--economic issues being some of the least important factors. That said I value moderation and centrisim above my own liberal worldview.
  • commoncoll

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    Nov 26, 2011 10:35 PM GMT
    I don't think College Board gets to say anything about fundings. Their tests are overpriced and overhyped. Costs to send scores to school are incredibly high along with other unnecessary processing fees, they have partnered up with some elite universities so that you pay them money to fill out financial application that students fill out for free for most other colleges.

    CollegeBoard takes excessive money from students and has poor customer service. Although a "non-profit," it has posted profits in excess of $30 million for recent years. It has a monopoly on testing, and is generally a cash cow with some of its senior staff member making close to and often above half a million dollars a year.