Rich Lowry considers John Kerrys ill-defined "misery index" with regard to college tuition. Kerry maintains that "George Bush is pricing thousands of young people right out of the American dream." Not so, Lowry maintains: "It is positively raining college aid, meaning students are in a tight competition with the elderly over who can be more pampered by government." And then this unpalatable truth:
"The game for universities is obvious — hike official tuition rates ever higher. Then everyone thinks students cannot afford college and plies them with more aid, which ends up lining the pockets of the schools. Its one of the great scams of our time, and Kerry has been happy to play along by hyping nominal tuition increases and promising yet more aid. He is the dream candidate of greedy college administrators.
The problem isnt that students hungry for knowledge are being frozen out from college, but the opposite. Marginal students take their generous aid and go to colleges that dont teach them. Eighty percent of universities arent selective, e.g. more or less happy to accept anyone who shows up with a check. Only 37 percent of first-time freshmen graduate in four years, and only 60 percent graduate in six years. Universities are happy to take money from unprepared students and fail them right back out, or dumb down their standards to stay on the government-aid gravy train."