The Secretary of Education is currently taking comments on a proposed new provision of the law governing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or Fafsa. As explained in an article titled “Loophole May Yield Benefits for College Aid,” this change would permit certain funds that have been set aside by parents for a child’s education expenses to be excluded when the calculations of eligibility for financial aid are made.
The emerging political squabbling about this loophole is, in my view, but the latest manifestation of a system that reduces its citizens to jostling, porcine-like, at the public trough to see who can capture the largest share of the largesse.
Wouldn’t it be both easier and more just to simply write a check to the student that could be delivered to the college of his or her choice? Such a system would discourage citizens from bickering over each other’s tax dollars and force campuses to be more responsive to students’ needs.