Little Imagination in the Gates Foundation Papers to "Reimagine" Federal Student Aid

George Leef

In this week's Pope Center Clarion Call, I take a look at the fifteen papers commissioned by the Gates Foundation that were to "reimagine" federal student aid. The trouble is that they all colored within the lines -- never questioning whether the federal government can be any good at this. I maintain that it cannot be and we'd be better off if we went back to a non-governmental system of identifying promising students and assisting them through educational programs that will benefit them the most. The federal student aid system maximizes seat time in approved educational institutions, but that is far from optimizing the development of human capital. In fact, it often impedes that goal.

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