We gotta cut back somewhere, right?
I mean, everyone knows that.
So where do you think it should be? From the pockets of Bush’s rich buddies? Or the pockets of poor college students?
That’s a no-brainer.
From The Chronicle of Higher Education:
“According to an analysis by the American Council on Education, about 1.3 million students and their families will see their eligibility for federal financial aid drop next year, when the formula change takes effect, because the new formula will show them to have more money available for college than before. The families of some of the 90,000 students disqualified from Pell Grants could also appear to be rich enough under the change, according to the council, that they will be ineligible for state and institutional aid as well.”
When was this announced? Right before Christmas – when the American college student wasn’t on campus, when Americans weren’t paying attention.
"It's not unusual for federal agencies to release unpleasant news when people aren't paying attention," said Terry W. Hartle, senior vice president for government and public affairs at the American Council on Education.
This will probably not lead too many students to drop out," said Mr. Hartle. "But it will cause these students to work more hours, borrow more money, or reduce their course loads."
More worrisome, said Brian K. Fitzgerald, staff director of the Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance, is that these same students could find that they are no longer eligible for other types of aid as well. The committee advises Congress on student-aid issues.
"The real concern here," he said, "is that the change will have a significant trickle-down effect because many states and colleges use the federal formula when awarding need-based aid."
According to the ACE's analysis, the 90,000 students will be concentrated in 21 states, including Massachusetts, New York, South Carolina, and Virginia. Students in two states -- Connecticut and New Jersey -- will actually see their grants increase.
A U.S. senator from one of those states had choice words for the formula change. "I am outraged that the Bush administration is going forward with these punitive cuts in Pell Grants," said Sen. Jon S. Corzine, the New Jersey Democrat who led an effort in the Senate to block the department from making the formula change.
"For these students who are simply working to get ahead," said Mr. Corzine, "this is a scene from 'The Grinch who stole my education.'"
I’m thinking back – to a certain debate – and a certain President – who claimed people should get an education if they wanted to recover from losing their jobs.
I’m thinking about a country where economy is still struggling. I’m looking at my students, already working lousy jobs and fighting to stay in school, because they believe the story people like the President fed them.
These are students who are already working so many hours, trying to stay afloat, that they frequently don’t have time to study, or get to class. They’re already in debt up to their ears from student loans, and often owe on credit cards too – not for plasma TV sets, either, or trips to the islands, but for food and basic health care.
I think about that, and then I think about stories like this:
And you know, I understand this is a capitalist society.
Rich folk have a right to do what they want with their own money.
Tax cuts are perfectly legitimate.
They aren’t GIVING money to rich people. That money BELONGS to rich people, don’t you UNDERSTAND that? Those rich people EARNED that money. If they want to spend it on cloning their cats, or $8,000 mink ponchos, well, hell, that's their God-given American right, ain't it?
Yap yap yap.
But damn it. Come on. How far is this going to go?
7 hours ago