Richard Vedder describes financial aid practices at U.S. colleges and universities as a “stealth tax on savings.” Thanks to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form, colleges have access to detailed personal and financial information about the families of aid applicants (“income, debts, alimony payments, number of other dependent children and their age, and so on”) and this information greatly aids price discrimination. Expensive private colleges will tend to grant more aid to households with heavy debt burdens than households that have accumulated savings to pay for college, even if said households earn the same income. Vedder proposes that the federal government abolish FAFSA, and that it make it illegal for colleges and universities to solicit private family-financial information — the only thing colleges could do is consult overall income, as reported by the IRS. It’s a clever idea, and I’d be curious to hear the case against. One could argue that Vedder’s approach is unfair, as households that save really do have a greater ability to pay. But of course that is precisely his point: colleges are exploiting savers, and this in turn may well reduce the number of savers and (perhaps) the amount of aggregate savings. I would be open to one slight tweak in the Vedder approach: perhaps colleges could also inquire as to the number of children in a given household, as this information might also be of interest. I’d be comfortable with a scenario in which the parents of only children were obligated to pay more than the parents of, say, three or four children.
Editor’s Note: The following is the fourth in a series of articles in which Mr. Yoo and Mr. Phillips will lay out a course of constitutional restoration, pointing out areas where the Supreme Court has driven the Constitution off its rails and the ways the current Court can put it back on track. The first entry ... Read More
Theresa Shook, founder of the Women's March, called on leaders of the liberal political-protest movement to step down on Monday amid widespread backlash against their refusal to condemn anti-Semitic and homophobic allies. “As Founder of the Women’s March, my original vision and intent was to show the ... Read More
When is it acceptable to question the legitimacy of an American election outcome? The proper answer is “almost never.” Or, more precisely, never do it without overwhelming evidence of fraud or misconduct that’s substantial enough to alter the outcome of the election. The person claiming decisive fraud or ... Read More
Almost everything French president Emmanuel Macron has said recently on the topic of foreign affairs, the United States, and nationalism and patriotism is silly. He implicitly rebukes Donald Trump for praising the idea of nationalism as a creed in which citizens of sovereign nations expect their leaders to put ... Read More
After what seem like years of a phony war, British and European Union negotiators finally agreed on the terms of Britain’s departure from the EU earlier this week, and Theresa May announced it in the House of Commons. The deal covers more than 500 pages of legal and bureaucratic prose, and few but the ... Read More