Phi Beta Cons

What Should We Do About Pell Grants?

Pell Grants have become a sacred cow in American politics, owing to the perception that they’re necessary to enable low-income students to go to college for the training and intellectual stimulation they (and the country) need. Like all sacred cows, however, Pell Grants don’t look so lovely when you take a close, unemotional look. The Pope Center’s latest paper, written by Jenna Ashley Robinson and Duke Cheston, gives Pell Grants precisely that. They find that the program is very wasteful and argue that it should be changed to cover only low-income students who are demonstrably prepared for college studies. In this week’s Clarion Call, Duke Cheston discusses the main findings of the paper and links to it.

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

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U.S.

Columbia 1968: Another Untold Story

Fifty years ago this week, Columbia students riding the combined wave of the civil-rights and anti-war movements went on strike, occupied buildings across campus, and shut the university down. As you revisit that episode of the larger drama that was the annus horribilis 1968, bear in mind that the past isn’t ... Read More
Culture

Only the Strident Survive

‘I am not prone to anxiety,” historian Niall Ferguson wrote in the Times of London on April 22. “Last week, however, for the first time since I went through the emotional trauma of divorce, I experienced an uncontrollable panic attack.” The cause? “A few intemperate emails, inadvertently forwarded ... Read More

Poll Finds Nevada Voters Support School-Choice Programs

According to an April poll, a large number of Nevada voters support school-choice programs. The poll, conducted by Nevada Independent/Mellman, found that 70 percent of voters support a proposal for a special-needs Education Savings Account and 59 percent support expanding the funding for the current tax-credit ... Read More
World

Microscopic Dots. Let’s Look at Them.

Stuart E. Eizenstat has written a big book on the Carter presidency. (Eizenstat was Carter’s chief domestic-policy adviser. He also had a substantial hand in foreign affairs.) I have reviewed the book for the forthcoming NR. Eizenstat tells the story of a meeting between President Carter and Andrei Gromyko, the ... Read More