College Costs

A Maintained Effort

March 19, 2008 - 12:29pm

Behind closed doors, Members of Congress are battling over a key concept in the pending Higher Education Act reauthorization -- a House of Representatives generated requirement that states maintain steady fiscal support for higher education. Not only should Congress ensure this concept makes it through to President Bush’s desk, it should strengthen the requirement to make it more than a toothless accountability measure.

Oversold?

January 29, 2008 - 7:00pm

In Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius's Democratic response to President Bush’s final State of the Union Speech Monday night, she touted a new law to “reduce the costs of college loans” as one of the major accomplishments of the new Democratic Majority in Congress. She was referring to enactment of the College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007, which among other things reduces interest rates on federally subsidized student loans. It was a big pat on the back for Congressional Democrats, who made cutting student loan interest rates in half a central part of their 2006 campaign. But Democrats should be careful not to oversell their achievement, as very few borrowers will get the full interest rate cut promised.

To be fair, under the new law, borrowers will also benefit from increased loan forgiveness for work in public service, substantially increased Pell Grant aid, and a decreased financial aid penalty associated with student work and savings. Indeed, the new law represents a significant increase in federal student aid. Higher Ed Watch has lauded it in the past.

Pell Grants Cut

December 17, 2007 - 7:00pm

In October and again in November, we warned that Congress might try to cut the Pell Grant program for low-income college students. We argued that after passing a new law in September that rightly whacked excess student loan bank subsidies to increase Pell Grant funding, Congress might later…

Note: This post pre-dates Higher Ed Watch's shift to a new publishing system. For the complete original post, including any comments, please click here.

Baby Carrots and Twigs

November 14, 2007 - 7:00pm

Yesterday, a key Congressional education committee took a groundbreaking albeit modest step on a top flight concern of parents and students - ever escalating college tuition.

For years, the federal government's main role in higher education finance has been to…

Note: This post pre-dates Higher Ed Watch's shift to a new publishing system. For the complete original post, including any comments, please click here.

Roundup: Week of September 3 - September 7

September 6, 2007 - 8:00pm

Bush to Sign Reconciliation Bill

As Higher Ed Watch predicted, President Bush has dropped his threat to veto legislation Congressional Democrats finalized this week that would slash lender subsidies, cut the interest rate on federally subsidized student…

Note: This post pre-dates Higher Ed Watch's shift to a new publishing system. For the complete original post, including any comments, please click here.

Buried Treasure in the U.S. News Rankings

September 3, 2007 - 8:00pm

The U.S. News & World Report's annual ranking of colleges and universities, "America's Best Colleges 2008," was published last week with typical fanfare. High school students and their parents likely flipped immediately to the "top schools" ranking, where they found-gasp!-that Princeton University earned the top spot…

Note: This post pre-dates Higher Ed Watch's shift to a new publishing system. For the complete original post, including any comments, please click here.

Pulling a Bait and Switch on Veterans

August 15, 2007 - 8:00pm

If you've seen an action film this summer, odds are you've also seen a slick advertisement touting the benefits of joining the Army or Marines-including help paying for college. You won't hear the word "Iraq," and as the Washington Post reported last week, it…

Note: This post pre-dates Higher Ed Watch's shift to a new publishing system. For the complete original post, including any comments, please click here.

Roundup: Week of July 16 - July 20

July 19, 2007 - 8:00pm

Senate Passes Bill to Cut Lender Subsidies

By a vote of 78 to 18, the Senate approved a budget reconciliation bill in the wee hours of Friday morning that would slash $18.3 billion from the subsidies that…

Note: This post pre-dates Higher Ed Watch's shift to a new publishing system. For the complete original post, including any comments, please click here.

When Work Doesn't Pay

July 16, 2007 - 8:00pm

Financing a college education isn't easy for anybody these days, but it's an especially Herculean task if you're a working-class student living paycheck to paycheck. The obstacles to attending college are high, and the more you have to work to support yourself and your family, the less help…

Note: This post pre-dates Higher Ed Watch's shift to a new publishing system. For the complete original post, including any comments, please click here.

Carrots and Sticks

June 18, 2007 - 8:00pm

For years, federal lawmakers have been divided over how best to make college more affordable. For the most part, Republicans have called for reining in rising college prices. Democrats, on the other hand, consistently have pushed for increased spending on student aid to keep college within the reach of low- and middle-income students.

Note: This post pre-dates Higher Ed Watch's shift to a new publishing system. For the complete original post, including any comments, please click here.

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