Does federal spending on higher ed help poor?

, Malcolm A. Kline, Leave a comment

It may seem like a silly question but all the available information indicates that it is not.

The U. S. Department of Education spends at least $28 billion on Pell Grants and another $95 billion on direct student loans alone for this very purpose. Under our last president, the Department claimed that, “To provide more access to higher education, the Obama Administration has increased total aid available 4 to students by over $50 billion from 2008 to 2016, and selected tax benefits by over $12 billion, which has helped our Nation ensure more students are graduating college than ever before.”

Moreover, according to the Pew Trusts, higher education spending makes up the third largest category of state government spending. But to what end?

“For example, the U.S. has made little progress on overall college attainment or, in particular, attainment rates for those in the bottom quartile of income in the U.S. — where there has been virtually no improvement in 50 years,” Brandon Busteed writes in an article for the Gallup Polling Organization. “And since the peak in 2011, there are now 2.4 million fewer students enrolled in college today.”

Not incidentally, according to the Wall Street Journal, tuition has gone up 400 % over the past 30 years.