Sunday, April 20, 2008

University War for Financial Aid

I oppose the idea of across the board subsidy for higher education students, but I am for special plan to help students from poor family to pursue their education in (good and usually not inexpensive) university.

According to this piece in NYT, some US top universities have started to install such program lately. For instance:
North Carolina was going to cover nearly the full cost of any student whose family made less than 150 percent of the poverty level or, for a family of four, about $30,000 in today’s dollars. Students would still have to work 10 to 12 hours a week in a campus job, but they would not have to take out any loans.
The financial-aid bidding war at the nation’s top universities was under way.
I like the North Carolina type plan, since that's not just a free lunch, and I imagine, say, FEUI announces that starting next academic year enrolled students from lower income family would get zero tuition fee but have to work as library staffs, administrative clerks, labs attendants, and maybe janitors and gardeners. The university can save some money cost, too.

And then having known this, other universities will follow up with more generous scheme --say not only no tuition fee, but also to cover some part of student's living cost.

Next step, raise the Faculty member's salary and buy more books for the library.