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.


  1. if FEUI implemented this program and started hiring students as clerks and janitors, what would happen to the clerks and janitors whose qualifications might only be good enough for these jobs, and who depend on these jobs to support their wives and 4 kids? Isn't this why it's not common for students to wait tables (on part-time basis)in Indonesia, because there are so many other people who are only qualified for these jobs, and who'd work full-time?


  2. Irma, I am thinking of one/or more of those four kids who is brilliant, whose parents can not afford to get him/her into FEUI --those who are coming from family whose income, say, is 1.5 times of poverty line and below.

    And it is hard to believe that one is qualified only for one kind of job. He/she always have options, not necessarily the better one though, but still the options are there.