Lining Up At The Trough

Don’t think it’s just Wall Street & the Big 3, everyone’s coming for this:

“We’re talking a significant bump up in Pell,” says Barmak Nassirian, associate executive director of the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers. The association is one of the organizations signing on to a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., that outlined the proposals, citing the need to help struggling families who cannot pay for college.

Other education groups signing on to the plan include the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, State Higher Education Executive Officers, the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators and the United States Student Association. The National Consumer Law Center and Project on Student Debt are other co-sponsors.

The move comes as automakers, mayors and other sectors are putting pressure on Congress for new federal spending to combat the recession. After passing a $700 billion financial bailout largely aimed at Wall Street, lawmakers are planning a large “Main Street” economic stimulus package with public works and construction spending and, education leaders hope, some attention to postsecondary education.

“I think everybody is going to fight for their fair share,” Nassirian says of the current budget climate.

As a result, long-time concerns about deficit spending and limited resources have all but vanished. “The budget always has checkmated many policy ideas we presented in the past,” Nassirian says. Of the abrupt shift in tone in Washington, he says, “It’s extraordinary.”

Am I the only one reaching straight to protect my wallet any time anyone starts talking about a “fair share”? To them, fairness means to make sure some other sucker pays the bill, and they get the reward. Fairness is ensuring that when they line up for free goodies, there are still some left when they get to the front of the line.

Put simply, most people’s definition of “fairness” scares the hell out of me.

  • Aimee

    I’m probably stating something stupid, but why not just reduce the cost of education? I’m a 31 year old and in school, and it seems like at the very least, the tuition goes up twice a year about $400 each time.

    I was hoping schools would see a huge drop in people going and realize that they are charging way too much. By the time both myself and my husband finish school, our loans are going to total over $100,000. Forget being able to help our kids out when the time comes.

    Maybe I’ll just take a class every 6 months until I die and then I wont have to pay any of it back.

  • Akston

    Why adjust your prices to the marketplace when the federal government is having money printed and handing it out?

    As long as schools see their services as so essential that it’s okay to take value from everyone’s money now and shackle the kids to paying off skyrocketing debt later, begging the government is much easier than enticing voluntary customers.

  • TerryP


    Prices won’t go down until gov’t stops handing out more and more money for kids to go to school.

    It is kind of a chicken and the egg. Prices go up so the gov’t give more money to kids to pay for education. Since the gov’t gave more money the prices go up. Until the gov’t stops giving more money the cycle will continue with prices going up.