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The Department of Education last week announced a new formula for calculating eligibility for college financial aid, a move that will eliminate the federal Pell Grant scholarships for an estimated 80,000 to 90,000 low-income students and force a modest scaling back of other types of state and federal assistance to broader categories of undergraduates.
All I have to say is this is a shame, but not a surprise. Not that I believe in the motivations of any politician, but the words of one senator seemed on point – “For those working to get ahead, this is a scene from ‘The Grinch who stole my education’.”
The numbers game is pointless because most of us don’t have a true grasp on global and political economics. Nevertheless, I find it curious that the expected government “savings” of $300 million in the 2005-2006 academic year passes through Congress with ease, while we spend billions on wars, above and beyond budget and reason. Truly, our priorities are out of place, but then again, can we honestly say that they ever were in line with what is best for the U.S. or the world?
Wouldn’t it at least make sense to phase in such cuts over a 4-year span, so that current students have a chance to adjust their financial plans? Can anyone who voted for this bill relate to or truly comprehend the impact of such immediate cuts?
Terry Hartle, senior vice president of the American Council of Education, said “I don’t think it means they won’t go to school. But they will borrow more money on credit cards, work longer hours or take fewer classes.” Well, all this does is increase the odds of ever achieving peace of mind or true contentment, while strengthening the shackles of government (work longer hours, more taxes to government) and banks (more credit cards, more fees) on our lives. How long can we stand for such mass control and hypocrisy?