Letter Printed in the San Francisco Chronicle

March 20, 2007

Letters to the Editor

Re: "Controlling college costs"

Leslie Carbone (Open Forum, Dec. 12) offers the perfect prescription for making American higher education unaffordable and inaccessible -- by cutting the federal student aid programs. Every piece of existing empirical evidence refutes her claim that federal student aid feeds college tuition increases. Two U.S. Department of Education studies have shown that there are "no associations between ... federal grants, state grants, and student loans, and changes in tuition," and "there is little evidence ... that federal student aid increases have contributed to tuition inflation." The erosion of federal student aid in the past five years has become an additional strain on college budgets as institutions attempt to fill the gap. Congress has not kept funding for student aid in line with inflation, growing family need, or the wave of low-income and first-generation college students who are academically prepared for college. Federal student aid has made college possible for students from all backgrounds for 40 years. Add a federal disinvestment in student aid to rising institutional cost pressures and growing student need, and you've created a recipe for financial disaster for students and their families.


David L. Warren
National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities

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