The governmental Pell Grant system provides assistance to lower-income individuals so they can receive education to climb the corporate ladder. However, this rose has its thorn. Rather than helping students, the system harms them.
The outlook is bleak for middle-income wage earners without a college education or technical training. Only a few years ago, jobs paying wages that afforded a middle-class lifestyle were plentiful, even for those without a college education. Now, the market is proliferated by low-wage jobs that have to be subsidized by the American public. Yet the employers paying said low wages are making billions of dollars in profits. What is wrong with this picture?
Biggs reports, “Recent economic research suggests that colleges siphon off a significant portion of federal education aid rather than lowering costs to students.” Rising tuition rates or reductions in student assistance evidences this systemic abuse in some of these institutions. Biggs continues by stressing, “[t]he 75 percent difference in tuition between aid-eligible and ineligible for-profit colleges —an amount comparable to average per-student federal assistance —suggests that institutions may indeed raise tuition to capture the maximum grant aid available." This is certainly disturbing news.
Perhaps it is time that we, the American public, charge these corporations that refuse to pay employees a living wage and use public assistance as “benefits” for its employees. Perhaps it is time that we, the American public, provide strict guidelines for aid-eligible institutions, insisting that they provide quality educations for students and maintain a high graduation rate.
As Benjamin Franklin once said, “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” It is time to take Mr. Franklin’s words to heart, and invest in educating the American population.