Eagle Forum Legislative Alerts

Friday, March 09, 2012

Start Cutting Spending on Colleges

Here is a good idea for how Congress can make serious cuts in federal spending. Let's leave for another day the issue of whether the taxpayers should grant students big loans to pay for college tuition even though they can't get jobs that justify that taking on all that debt. But for starters, let's eliminate handouts and loans for college tuition now given to students who are not ready for college at all and must take so-called remedial courses. Millions of students start college who are unprepared to do college work. According to government figures published in the New York Times, more than 35% of students must take remediation courses when they start college. Some have to take several remedial courses; others need so much remedial work that they use up all their state and federal student aid without ever getting a degree.

The average student comes to college with a mediocre vocabulary, no background of having read important books, and no writing skills. Somebody ought to tell them that college is not high school, and if they didn't learn enough in high school to get into college, colleges should not admit them, and the taxpayers should not be paying their way.

Why are the colleges admitting these unprepared students, a practice that is called mass remediation? The answer is simple: follow the money. The government makes loans and gifts of taxpayers' money, the college makes money by admitting more students, and the students often spend five or six years taking various courses, and may or may not ever get a degree.

Many people are responsible for this expensive racket, starting with the grade schools that didn't teach kids how to read, and continuing through elementary and high school with social promotion and emphasis on self-esteem instead of academics. It's time to stop setting students up for expensive failure when they are financed by the taxpayers to attend college for which they are not prepared.

Listen to the radio commentary here:

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