Phi Beta Cons

Is It a Myth That Federal Student Aid Helps Drive Up College Costs?

Neal McCluskey responds here to the claim by Terry Hartle that it is a myth that federal student-aid policies enable colleges to charge more.

Hartle’s “myth” position amounts to saying that the reason why college officials keep raising tuition and fees is only because they must do so to cover their rising expenses, and never because they realize that increasingly generous federal aid programs have put more money in student pockets — money that can only be used for college. A reasonable person would probably have a hard time believing that even if he knew nothing about the tendencies of college leaders; once you know that almost of all of them have an insatiable desire for more money (as Derek Bok put it, college presidents are like exiled royalty and gambling addicts in that there is never enough money for them), it’s laughable.

George Leef — George Leef is the director of research for the John William Pope Center for Higher Education Policy.

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