Sunday, November 09, 2003

This is Inane

Greg Winter, writing in the NYT this morning, reveals that the richest colleges get the most federal aid for their students. Wow, doesn't THAT make sense! Still proud to be an American?

If there is any grand, elegant logic behind the federal government's dispersal of more than a billion dollars in college aid, then Maria Hernandez is humble enough to confess that it has escaped her.

Consider her point. Poverty is hardly a rarity among the students of California State University at Fresno, where she is the director of financial aid. Many come from families working in the fields nearby, on farms where students spend their summer and winter vacations harvesting peaches and sugar beets to stay in school.

About three hours and a world away sits Stanford. Far fewer of its students are poor, yet the federal government gives it about 7 times as much money to help each one of them through college under one program, 28 times as much in another and almost 100 times as much in a third, government data show.

"Pretty sad," if you ask Ms. Hernandez.

Similar discrepancies emerge across the nation, adhering to a somewhat counterintuitive underlying theme: The federal government typically gives the wealthiest private universities, which often serve the smallest percentage of low-income students, significantly more financial aid money than their struggling counterparts with much greater shares of poor students.

The United States is very rapidly becoming a third world nation, with a small group of wealthy parasites lording it over masses of people living in poverty or near-poverty. How much longer will we stand for it, or, should I say, bend over for it? Maybe not much longer. When foreign countries decide to shut off our credit, the party will end - and it will end badly in a country awash with legal and illegal firearms.


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