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ERIC Number: EJ992758
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Reference Count: N/A
Are We Losing the Morals that Guide Student Aid Policy?
Journal of College Admission, n214 p107 Win 2012
America's moral compass guiding student aid policy is being co-opted by short-sighted, budget-cutting and deficit-reduction policies. This moral compass was threatened, but had "not altogether disappeared" by 1996, according to an article written that year by Thomas A. Flint, then-vice president for financial services at Robert Morris College (IL). The article documents a shift in student aid policy from the original goal of providing equal opportunity to other priorities, such as enforcing loyalty to the US (and rejecting Communism during the Cold War era), Selective Service registration and the war against drugs. In these times of austerity, student aid programs have become an irresistible temptation for lawmakers to raid. In 2011, Congress provided more than $46 billion primarily to cover increasing participation in the Pell Grant program. While this is only 1.2 percent of the $3.8 trillion federal budget, it is tempting for lawmakers to cut. Flint predicted that this would become an issue. The current political and fiscal environment continues to leave little room for important discussions about the merits and morality of federal student aid. The trend that Flint warned of has intensified to the point that almost all student aid policy debate focuses on how the nation can trim student aid spending to bring the federal budget into alignment. When student aid policy is governed by the budget, it is treated as an expense and not a public investment, eluding the nation's moral compass. Americans must recognize that every dollar spent on education is more than just a line item on a federal expense statement--it's an investment in the nation's future success and prosperity.
Descriptors: Student Financial Aid, Financial Services, Grants, Investment, Ethics, Budgets, Higher Education
National Association for College Admission Counseling. 1631 Prince Street, Alexandria, VA 22314-2818. Tel: 800-822-6285; Tel: 703-836-2222; Fax: 703-836-8015; e-mail: email@example.com; Web site: http://www.nacacnet.org
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Pell Grant Program