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ERIC Number: EJ847577
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Jun-26
Pages: 1
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0009-5982
An Experiment in Merit-Based Student Aid Is Likely to End
Wright, Austin
Chronicle of Higher Education, v55 n40 pA23 Jun 2009
The Obama administration has no plans to renew the Bush-era competitiveness grants and their companion, the National Smart Grants, beyond their 2011 expiration date, meaning a likely end for America's short-lived experiment with merit-based federal financial aid. Instead, the administration will focus its resources on the popular Pell Grant program, which is strictly need-based. Normally, efforts to end student-aid programs face fierce resistance from colleges. This time, though, hardly anyone is complaining. Created by Congress in 2006, the two programs have been an administrative nightmare for financial-aid officers, have never met participation targets, and have been criticized in Washington by Democrats and Republicans alike. Still, the programs' few supporters say the merit-based grants have encouraged low-income school districts to offer challenging courses, raising academic standards at a time when many students are ill-prepared for college. Rather than dropping the merit-based aid programs, contends one recipient, the Obama administration should improve them.
Chronicle of Higher Education. 1255 23rd Street NW Suite 700, Washington, DC 20037. Tel: 800-728-2803; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Pell Grant Program