Phi Beta Cons

Title IV

Larry Arn’s Claremont piece includes a telling bit on the breathtaking clarity of the Education Act of 1965.

Title IV of the current Act, which regulates colleges accepting federal student financial aid, includes now more than 300 pages of regulations. Failure of a senior college official to comply in a material respect can lead to heavy fines and imprisonment. Hillsdale College does not participate in this federal largesse, but nonetheless I surprised our attorney in Washington once by asking that he send me the regulations. He refused on the ground that I could not understand them. My academic ego was ruffled, so he explained that he could not understand them either; his firm keeps a staff person to do nothing but try to understand them. The Department of Education often calls this person to get her opinion on what the Act might say and mean.

This Solon has a sure future on the Supreme Court. Well, he sounds like a veritable Key to All Mythologies, but how complex is the actual act? I found the 1998 Amendments and counted about 160 sections in that year. I’m not that ambitious, so just consider the Title IV amendments that Arn mentions: There are 90 of those. They sure have thought of everything!