NAICU Letter Printed in the Western Washington Front

August 05, 2008

Letters to the Editor
The Western Front

To the Editor:

Stephen Nichols offers the perfect prescription for making American higher education unaffordable and inaccessible — that is, by cutting federal student aid programs ("Government subsidizing hurts tuition," July 22). Every piece of existing empirical evidence refutes the 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 this decade 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 deinvestment 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.


Tony Pals
Director of Public Information
National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities
Washington, D.C.

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