ERIC Number: ED358753
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1989-Sep-19
Reference Count: N/A
National Service and Student Aid: Myth and Reality.
Marshall, Will; Berg, Joel
This report examines the claims surrounding proposals to link student financial aid for postsecondary education with national service. As a background to the issue the paper looks at the Citizenship and National Service Act, introduced in January 1989 by Senators Sam Nunn and Charles Robb and Representative Dave McCurdy. The Nunn-McCurdy plan, as it is called, proposes a new "Citizen Corps" that would offer young volunteers the opportunity to work full-time in either a civilian or military capacity for up to 2 years after which they would receive vouchers worth substantial aid for education, vocational training, or a down payment on a first home. The idea of making service a prerequisite for aid has been highly controversial, and this report aims to further the debate by documenting the diminishing effectiveness of federal student aid and exploring five common "myths" about the likely impact of converting existing subsidies into benefits earned through voluntary national service. The report concludes that the nation's federal student aid programs are increasingly unequal to the challenge of assuring equal opportunity in higher education. Though not a panacea, voluntary national service would be a progressive response to America's widening "social deficit" and its growing student aid dilemma. It would differ from existing subsidies in that it would be more generous, offer all citizens the same deal, and link effort to reward reflecting the traditional American ethic of individual initiative and equal opportunity. (Contains 44 references.) (JB)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Progressive Policy Inst., Washington, DC. Center for Civic Enterprise.