LETTER: Weaver Challenges Tsongas and Olver on Tuition Costs
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Democratic U.S. Reps John Olver and Niki Tsongas on Thursday held a listening tour for the students and officials at Mount Wachusett Community College. What Olver did not say is that he voted for the College Cost Reduction Act of 2007, knowing full well that the interest rate would revert in an election year. Tsongas had not been elected in September 2007. What they both failed to mention is that for the next three years, with the Democratic Party controlling the House and Senate, and for two years the White House as well? They did nothing to fix the return to the nominal interest rate of 6.8%. Why not?
As taxpayers, we have increased our tax burden for Pell grant funding from $2.1 billion in 1980 to over $44.3 billion in 2011. In thirty years, funding has increased over 22 times. Has anyone’s salaries increased that much in the same time period?
According to the NY Times, the average cost of college tuition has almost tripled in the same period. Richard Vedder of the Center for College Affordability and Productivity states that with more government aid, the tuition is increased. Others do not agree, but the money is going somewhere.
Per the Department of Education, full-time 4-year college enrollment increased from 7.1 million students in 1980 to 12.7 million in 2010.
Does this make sense? Enrollment increases some 60%, tuitions increase 300% and federal grants increase 2200%.
Where has the money gone? Why can’t the Congressmen talk about that?