Letter Printed in Forbes

March 20, 2007

Letters to the Editor

Re: Op-Ed, "School for Scandal," Dec. 25 (College cost drivers)

Empirical evidence refutes A. Gary Shilling's claim in "School for Scandal" (Dec. 25, 2006) that increasing funding for federal student aid would fuel tuition growth. Two U.S. Department of Education studies have shown that there are no associations between federal grants, state grants, student loans and changes in tuition, and that there is "little evidence" to show that federal student aid increases have contributed to tuition inflation.

Congress has not kept funding for student aid in line with inflation, family need or the wave of low-income and first-generation college students. The maximum Pell Grant contribution hasn't increased in five years. Average net tuition (published price minus grants and tax benefits) at private colleges and universities is $13,200--more than 40% below the average published tuition. There's only so much more that private institutions can do. It's time for Congress to hold up its end of the social compact that has made college possible for millions of students over the last 40 years.


David L. Warren
National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities


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