Thursday, April 17, 2008

more subsidies for college?

From Lesley Stedman Weidenbener in the C-J...

Gov. Mitch Daniels set a goal yesterday of making college more affordable -- or in some cases free -- for every Indiana high school graduate, and then challenged university officials to help make it happen.

Daniels told university leaders and faculty gathered for the Kent Weldon Conference for Higher Education that he wants to provide two years of free tuition at Ivy Tech Community College to all high school graduates or provide an equivalent amount of aid to those attending state universities.

That's an annual benefit of about $3,000 per student.

More subsidies for all college students-- independent of need? Why does he want to take money from taxpayers to redistribute to students? The two options are that taxpayers will subsidize students who are successful and will generally become middle to upper class-- or they will subsidize students who will be unwilling or unable to complete school.

Later, Daniels said his top priority is providing the free Ivy Tech tuition at least to students whose families earn up to the state's median family income of $55,000 a year. More funding would mean help to more families, he said....

That's least to means-test the subsidies.

The governor's office estimates that roughly 20,000 of the state's 66,000 high school graduates each year are from families with median incomes of $50,000 or less and could use the proposed grants. But many of those students qualify for existing aid programs now.

Ivy Tech President Tom Snyder said that students from families earning up to $40,000 already can attend the school at no cost by using a combination of state and federal scholarships and grants.

That includes Indiana's 21st Century Scholars program, which pays four years of tuition to low-income students who sign up for the program in seventh or eighth grade and fulfill a pledge of good citizenship. It also includes the federal Pell Grant, which provides limited aid to students whose families have incomes as high as $60,000....

With so much aid already available, this proposal starts to smell like pandering. I hope that's not what's going on...


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home