For starters, it's a false notion that college is for everyone, it's
not. And forcing millions of young people through college only to graduate with
a mountain of debt and no employment is a sham in and of itself. The colleges
get millions in government money, hire more professors, expand programs, etc;
under the guise there is this huge demand for their services.Then,
if you simply push kids through college regardless of how smart they are, you
get degreed kids who really don't belong in that group and can't
really compete in the real world.Finally, this huge increase in
college enrollment during the recession is due only to the fact none of these
people can find work, so they go to college at govt expense--and still
don't have a job when they graduate. Obama looks great because more kids
are going to college, the college boasts of increased enrollment, they lobby
their state legislatures that they need more money, so the state increases
taxes, gives more money to the college, but now enrollment is trending downward
again, and this whole thing is a charade.
That is another way the man sticks it to some of the "poor" who are
truly hardworking and honest people who try to live right everyday and make
every effort to be successful in life without taking advantage of the system or
taking a handout. If this is true, those colleges should be ashamed of
themselves! Yet again, taking from the poor and giving to the rich! You just
never know, you can have a diamond in the rough (someone raised poor) who could
be a lot smarter than some rich kids, but you would never know that because the
colleges and the "man" are too busy screwing the poor over to benefit
them and the rich snobby unappreciative spoiled brats! I honestly believe what
goes around, comes around...
"'Low-income students have to take on a significant amount of debt or
work full-time jobs while they are in school, or they have to stop out of school
for periods of time while they work and save,' said report author Stephen
Burd"---------------------I am one of six children
in a family whose parents earnings topped out at about $900/mo. a few months
before my father died while undergoing a 2nd round of heart valve
replacements.Unlike several of my siblings and mostly because of my
lackadaisical academic performance, I never obtained any scholarships and
(probably because of my lackadaisical investigatory interest) never even knew
about Pell grants. Nevertheless, we **all**, eventually, graduated from
college. In my case it took a total elapsed time of 12 years interspersed with
several periods of dropping out in order to earn enough in one of my **many**
odd summer jobs to drop back in, usually while working part time.I
mention this to point out that this tale of "How colleges take from the
poor, give to the rich" is not only very slanted and unrepresentative, it is
unnecessarily demoralizing and, in my case at least, false.
It's the rare resume that gets a second look that doesn't have a
bachelor's degree. I wouldn't have graduated without my
Pell grants is taking from working,---tax paying people, and giving it to those
who don't pay income taxes. How can you take from the poor who doesn't
have money to begin with?There are many who work their way through
college without robbing the working middle-class.To many focus on
benefits, while not finding ways of paying their way through. It's a slap
in the face, having to beg someone to pay your way through life.
@dumprake: Certainly college isn't for everyone--that's clear if you
look at any freshman-level class. But I'd much rather have the opportunity
for a college education go to those with the ability and the interest to benefit
from the opportunity. Otherwise, college just becomes a way for the upper
classes to ensure that the silver spoon ends up in their children's mouths.
Pell Grants are supposed to ensure that smart young
people--regardless of their parents' incomes--have the opportunity to
improve their lot. The shell game this article describes is shifting scarce
money to those who need it less.
Worf and All,Can you work your way through school? Sure. If you
live near to a college and can extend you timeline.When I was a kid,
I knew folks who worked 2 jobs in the summer and could pay for college, room,
and board from their earnings.Try that today. If school is $15,000
(in state or church school) with books, room, and board, what summer job could
possibly pay for that?Pell Grants help create the next generation of
earners. They are a good deal for the taxpayer and a great anti-poverty
College Costs have exploded since Pell grants were instituted. If you suddenly
increase the amount of money that students have then colleges are able to charge
more. Slowly and surely they have. Now the price is out of reach. In the long
run, it will be better to get rid of them. Then colleges (who will lose
billions) will look to seriously cut costs like they should have been trying to
do for decades. @Twin Lights... why is college out of price today?
It's because of the Pell Grants.
Some people worship the university.
Let's be honest about this. The government is broke and taxpayers are
indebted out the wazoo for as far as they eye can see to pay our current $16.8
trillion debt.Other than as a cynical redistribution of wealth
program, or more accurately, welfare for those who want to delay working for
four years while pretending to become educated, Pell grants are unaffordable and
should be eliminated entirely.For those who claim you cannot earn a
good living without a college education, here are a few words of advice.
Welder. Plumber. Mechanic. Health care.Or, check out the
education benefits that are earned (not given out as welfare) for military
service, either active duty or Guard or Reserve.
Anyone can go to college that wants to.....all it takes is an enlistment in the
U.S. military. Lots of people I knew in college were unwilling to sacrifice to
make college a reality. I heard many people say "the military just
isn't for me." My response.... "perhaps college isn't for
you."We should do away with the Pell grant system.
Many of our poor, did not have good grades while growing up. Even with head
start, free lunch program, and other benefits.Pell grants, would be
more efficiently used if based on ACT, or SAT scores rather then income
levels.The best education come those who work their way through
college. It can be done.
Though not American, the system of grants for those not able to attend college
or university who may lack the financial means is available in many countries
around the earth. It is disappointng that this system has and is being abused in
ways that poorer students are disadvantaged. It is good that intelligence (even
as measured by IQ) is not limited to those from wealthier backgrounds. It may be
that some of the world's greatest minds contributing to the future of
mankind will arise from less financially able homes. It would be immeasurably
sad and disheartening to block educational opportunities for these young people
with ability. If bursaries and scholarships are available, let colleges,
universities, and granting authorities ensure they are allocated to those for
whom they are intended.
There certainly seems to be a vast pool of college and university educated
people. Yet relatively few of these seem to be able to think clearly or to
write comprehensibly. Something is wrong.Students appear often to
arrive at university without even a basic education and needing remedial work.
"Smart people": who are they? Are they the people who are
wise enough to choose a vocational course that will actually increase their real
wealth and that of others by producing something essential at a price affordable
to honest people of all "classes"? If people want wisdom universities
cannot give it, only virtue, experience and the love of truth will discover
20 percent with GPAs below 2.0 get "merit aid"? ! Let's forget
about money, how do these students even get into college with those grades let
alone get "MERIT" aid. Doesn't "merit" mean academic merit?
It used to. Where is the scam? Government gives colleges money and
then the money is used exactly the way government says to use it. This frees up
other resources for colleges to attract students who really do "merit"
being there. Also, not one mention of community colleges. Yes, most
students cannot afford the most selective private universities. Is this a news
flash that the poorest cannot afford them either? This is not the end of the
road. Many students go to community colleges and take classes from good teaching
professors and get a better education than they would have received had they
taken those same classes from graduate students at a university. They save a
fortune that can then be used for their junior and senior years and perhaps
No one is entitled to a college education. We are entitled to a basic education
such as we get in publicly funded grade and high schools. But that is where it
stops. Everything else is optional. In higher ed, students have to want to
succeed and, by all rights, should have to prove they are capable of being
successful in college. The latter is not required to get a Pell grant. Just
about anyone can get one and therein lays the rub. The Feds throw money at the
issue and hope against hope that the unprepared and unmotivated will take it and
be successful. You can’t fault universities from looking for full
paying kids from wealthy families and the best and most motivated students. It
is a matter of survival. The problem is the unmotivated and unprepared people
who drag the system down financially, or so it seems.
It's true that the college system is very corrupt from the cost to the
nearly worthless courses required only to support academia. There is
however a movement towards online courses that should be free or nearly free
since they cost so little to create and maintain per student. Coursera,
Khanacademy and other online learning systems are gaining popularity and
credentials. We're just stuck in a very expensive and
uncomfortable transition stage of education. We should just be
testing knowledge and competence and not assuming anything from credentials. I tested out of 30 credits with CLEP and DANTES tests. A few weeks of
study and about an hour of testing you have 3 credits. That's how it should
be. Then my counselor got angry and told me no more credits would be accepted
Well, with higher ed budgets, particularly for public schools, being slashed,
the emphasis at the schools is on adademic merit as opposed to need. The
schools are under tremendous pressure to produce actual graduates, and high
performing ones at that, increasingly ignoring need. This is a bad situation,
but it is one of the consequences of austerity, as misbegotten concept. So the
capitalist system lurches about wihtout direction.
Just another redistribution of wealth program that doesn't work. Kids that
don't get the grades in high school usually drop out in college. I would
much rather see grants given to students with high test scores and more money
given to students who take courses in engineering and courses that actually
teach you something that will in turn also help the country prosper. Where will
a degree in Race and Ethic Values take you other than flipping burgers?
Worked my own way through BYU. Took me 10 years -- and BYU's short-term
loan policy -- to do it, but I graduated with no debt, no parental assistance,
and lots of experience on my resume.
The Pell Grant is the best money spent by the federal government. It is an
investment in the American system. An individual's overall earnings (and
taxes paid) INCREASE with educational achievement. But the "stick"
mentioned in the article needs to be implemented.
These students should consider where they're going to school. You
don't have to have get a $30k or $50k a year education to get a good
education and be competitive for employment. BYU, UofU, and USU are three
examples of solid, reasonably priced, universities. Nearly every state has
affordable state universities that most students can access...so if you
don't like the price tag on your education, shop a little bit and pick a
school that gives you a good education without charging for your first born!
Married with 2.5 kids when I graduated. No financial aid, no parental assistance
at all (they were mad I went to BYU, and refused to provide required info for
aid application). Just hard work and a long timeline.
Easy Federal money is the reason it costs so much for a college education. They
build their palaces of higher learning on the backs of overcharged students. If
we got the US Government out of educational finance the schools would have to
prove their worth to the students in the free marketplace.We are
constantly assailed with complaints about corporate welfare. Why is all this
money pumped into education so different? Graduates are not receiving a
reasonable benefit if they never stand a chance to earn enough to pay back their
debts. Federal aid distorts the marketplace in higher education as badly as it
does in any other segment of our economy.
Why does it seem like conservatives don't value education?Yeah,so, i started working (a real job) at age 16 and paid my own tuition all
through college--when tuition was hundreds, not thousands of dollars.Fast forward today:My youngest son just completed his first year at a
state university in CA where the tuition alone is nearly $13,000/yr.My
oldest son graduated from a state university in PA where the (in-state tuition)
was nearly $16,000.Now add living expenses. Tuition has
dramatically increased over the past 20 yrs. for multiple reasons--including
declines of state funding.Some majors lead to well-paying jobs
making it easier to pay back loans, but some graduate with degrees where the job
market is bleak making it difficult to pay back loans.Some
majors--such as engineering-- are extremely demanding making it nearly
impossible for a student to work and attend school.
I worked summer jobs and while I was at school. Pell grants allowed me to
finish my college degree. I have since paid off my student loans and am now
paying my fair share of taxes. The government got a good deal by helping with
my education. Anyone that wants to can go to college. There will always be
corruption as long as we allow it at the top. If we keep voting in the
Obama's and Nancy Pelosi's of the world, not to mention the equally
corrupt Republicans, we will continue to pay. Time for the end of career
I would much rather fund Pell grants than have my hard-earned taxes go to give
tax breaks to vulture capitalists who claim to create jobs but in fact send jobs
overseas and get tax benefiits for doing so.
Here is another way the rich get grants....my son applied for grants and was
denied. I make 60k a year. He applied just in case he qualified. We suspected he
would not. My niece, however, received full grants. Her parents own a business.
The drive new cars. The live in a lavish home. But because they are able to run
all expenses through the business, it shows the only make 30k a year. Clearly
they make more money yet they are poor on paper. I doubt this is an isolated
@ Fact or FakeExcellent point and example.Thank you for
your comment.For the rest, of the usual suspects...It's okay to redistribute access to resources, from the poor to the
rich...Yet, it's not okay to redistribute access to resources,
from the rich to the poor?
Gaining a skill will allow a person to work their way through college. On job
learning/experience, or a technical school can provide ways, and means to
college.For me, I traded for some janitorial equipment, then
contracted to clean four daycare centers, and a dentist office. I also placed
three candy machines in some apartment buildings, and received income from that.
I also bought and fixed cars to sell, and totally paid my way through
college.I knew a young lady who cut hair while in college. Creativity comes with urgency. People can make it through college if
the motivation is there, and without begging for handouts.
The people who are saying they worked their way through college and graduated
with no debt likely went to college when it wasn't near as expensive.
Since I've started my tuition has dramatically every single year. Once I
got to my junior year, I was charged 48 dollars for every credit hour that was
upper division. Tuition and books is approximately 9,000/yr for me now. On top
of this I have to come up with rent, gas money, food, etc. It just seems
impossible to work your way through school and graduate debt free.I
work 10-15 hour a week during the school year. I do much more homework than the
average college student due to the nature of my major. My week is jam packed
when school is in session. There just isn't enough time in a week to earn
money to pay my way through college.What we need to do is stop
giving grants/aid to degrees that give you no appreciable skills. No more
art/photography/ethnic studies/ballet degrees paid for by the public.
Let's invest in STEM and medical related fields. Those degrees actually
benefit the economy.
Screwdriver, I have heard that the Kahn Academy does a good job in
math but everything I have seen in my field is just dreadful. He should have
stayed with what he knew. That is the problem with the internet, anybody can
teach anything and anybody does. If you are going to take an online course, it
is best to stay with those offered by colleges and universities.
This is nothing new. Repubs who hate pell grants would have also protested the
GI bill. We all know how that helped to create the middle class and spurn
economic development for decades. Only after the past 2-3 decades of failed
repubs trickle down economics have reminded us of how important it is to help
each other. "Anyone can go to college that wants to.....all it
takes is an enlistment in the U.S. military"Huh? Is that
supposed to save money? How? Why should people enlist in the army?
So repub presidents can send kids to die in countries that never attacked us? So
our children and grandchildren can be sent to serve special interests like
Cheney's Haliburton buddies?"The government is
broke"When hasn't the government had debt? And if debt was
so important why did repubs cheerlead as bush racked up trillions on our credit
card?"College Costs have exploded since Pell grants were
instituted"Correlation is not proof of causation. You might need
a college education to understand this."Plumber"Sooooo your idea to help America compete globally in the 21st century is to
have more plumbers?
@TN Cougar"Anyone can go to college that wants to.....all it takes is
an enlistment in the U.S. military."There are many people who
won't be able to get into the military because of physical disability or
other reasons, but who will still do well in college. As we draw down the size
of our military, the number of slots for enlistees will decrease as well.
Military service is a good way to finance one's education -- I used my GI
bill for college -- but it's not a perfect solution for everyone, nor
should it be.
Worf: I also worked my way through college, as well as using my GI bill. This
was in the late 60's and early 70's, though, when the GI bill paid a
whopping $100 a month. My last semester, I carried 23 semester hours of course
work and worked full time. Not something I would recommend for anyone. The
difference, however, is that the cost of college has gone up far faster than
most people's income, and there's no way I could have done that now.
At the same time, people need to be made aware of affordable
alternatives, such as Western Governor's University, which is an accredited
online university bases here in Utah, and our various technical colleges for
those seeking marketable skills rather than a degree.
Thank you to Max for this comment, "Where is the scam? Government gives
colleges money and then the money is used exactly the way government says to use
it. This frees up other resources for colleges to attract students who really do
"merit" being there."The author of this article implies
that if the university gives out any money based on merit, it is "taking
from the poor." This is false logic. I support the Pell Grant
system. I'm glad it is in place. However, I didn't qualify for a grant
and would have had a really hard time getting through college without merit
based scholarships. I don't think I'm alone in this, especially with
the current tuition rates. Merit based aid is helping a lot of middle class
students, not just upper class. Probably some lower class students as well.It makes sense to help the best and the brightest in our country to go
to college. And it isn't cheating or stealing from anyone.
I would suggest that the Pell Grant program should be expanded. The people
really getting squeezed here are the middle class parents.
@TN Cougar".....all it takes is an enlistment in the U.S. military.
"I'd have to be an idiot to do that when I was 18 since we
were in the middle of two wars (one of which was based on false pretences and
hasn't really improved anything in the nation). I'd rather be in debt
This is inaccurate. Pell Grants HELP students, ESPECIALLY those who need them
most. I know this from personal experience. That there are some conservatives in
politics who would like to see Pell Grants eliminated, is no surprise to me.
Could high tuition increases be tied to government handouts?If the
feds are going to hand it out, we'll raise tuition and make hay while the
Is this quite a fair analysis. You make it sound like rich kids are getting pell
grants in the title, but then the problem isn't with pell grants but with
other forms of aid. I am low income due to a disability. While my son is not
getting a "full ride", he is getting lots of aid from the university. He
has excellent grades, community service, and leadership. Therefore he is still
considered one of the best and the brightest. Before loans, they are covering
over 80% of costs of a very presigious institution. He is taking out some
student loans, but will work a summer job and get work/study. Data consistently
supports that students who have to work for their education do better because
they have a personal stake in the results. My question would really be, are rich
students being cheated by both schools and parents by not being forced to carry
some of their own weight?
It's increasingly evident that college is not the end-all success formula
it once was. Large numbers of college graduates give up after months of looking
for a "career" job, end up going back to the subsistence jobs they
worked before and during school and moving back home with Mon and Dad. Married
kids are moving their families back with their folks by the droves.When you take an objective look and realize much of the wealth in this country
was created by entrepreneurs (many of whom didn't finish college) it
becomes obvious that a fresh perspective is required to succeed in today's
marketplace. K-12 education needs to establish a solid understanding of the
principles of free enterprise and entrepreneurism. Andrew Carnegies's
philosophy that "what the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can
achieve" needs to inculcated early and frequently, including holding up as
examples the non-graduate "dreamers" (Zuckerberg, Jobs, Gates, Carnegie
himself, Craig McCaw, Debbie Fields, Frank Lloyd Wright, George Eastman, Henry
Ford, James Cameron, John D. Rockefeller, Sr, Mary Kay Ash, Michael Dell,
Richard Branson, Rush Limbaugh, Steve Wozniak, Walt Disney and MANY more!).
"Could high tuition increases be tied to government handouts?"It could. Just like iraq still could be "hiding" WMDs. But it
isn't.It has a lot more to do with government investing a lot
more in defense than in education. And the tax code being rewritten so that the
rich can rob the poor. With the buying power of the poor and middle class
stalled, tax dollars are being lost. Cuts are mad by states who cut spending to
higher education. Universities then have to make up the difference by passing
the costs onto American students.The greater question is, how can
America compete globally when we drown our children in ignorance in high school
(like denying evolution or cut history/civic classes) and then don't aid
them in high education? Most other industrialized countries are doing the
opposite. Aiding their students. Then again, most other industrialized countries
have a progressive tax code and the wealth is distributed more equally. Instead,
repubs seem determined to drive ourcountry over a cliff into 3rd world status.
The Pell grant is a voucher, and that's what vouchers would do with public
education if put into law. They would increase the price, because of the law of
supply and demand, just as they have done in colleges.
With the current of higher education inflation, the cost of college will likely
double before the decade is through. Luckily it wasn't that bad when I went
to college. But this is what our students are facing today. It's a
different world and working through school might not have the same effect as it
did a generation ago.
What a silly notion that merit based scholarships are based on merit and that
private universities are giving incentive to attract top students (TIC).
Imagine an employer saying, "I'm sorry, but in spite of your
performance being superior to your peers, we have decided to give the position
to somebody who is less wealthy and less qualified for the position than you.
We wish you the best in your search for future employment."
If you really wanted to know what the value of a college degree is, graduates
should be allowed to sell their degrees to the highest bidder and discharge
educational loans in bankruptcy court. The true value would be determined by
the marketplace instead of self interested college administrators and
I financed my education through a combination of grants, employment, Enlisting
in the Army National Guard, and any other financial aid I could obtain. I was
employed for twelve years in my field before I lost my employment. I do pay
income taxes despite a modest income. I will never apologize for obtaining pell
grants. My father was deceased and my mother disabled. The tea party
extremists are against any government program that helps people succeed. They
call anything and everything socialism and big government. I did graduate,
granted not a great GPA, still I persisted and I did find gainful employment.
I have no regrets that I obtained an education even thought I don't need it
for my present employment
If they don't go to households making more than $50,000 who are the rich
ones getting the money?
We all don't fit the same mold. Sorry, if we disappoint those of you who
think everyone should follow your footsteps. What I want to see is simply people
in college who don't need remedial courses on subjects they should have
learned better in high school, who aren't made to feel that they have to
choose college when they'd give their eye teeth to go to trade school or be
an apprentice in the work of their dreams, who want to be a___(fill in the
blank) so badly they can't wait, and it doesn't take college, but
other training to do it. Not everyone is military material for health or other
reasons, but some would love nothing more. Let that be their career and more
power to them! Let there be as much respect for those who choose to train in
other ways than college--and community/junior colleges can fill that space, as
they have done admirably before and do in many states now. But it isn't a
lesser choice, it is an equal choice, if our sons and daughters know and hear
that from us.