Handing Out Pell Grants Is Like Throwing Money in an Incinerator

Wait, scratch that. It’s like throwing tax money at white progressive educators, which, in turn, drives up costs for people who go to college with their eye on actually graduating.


Billions of taxpayer dollars go to college students who never end up with a diploma in their hands, a new report found.

Pell grants — which are given to low-income families and, unlike student loans, do not need to be paid back — are the costliest education initiative in the nation. But little official data exists on whether they are a good investment, according to the education watchdog Hechinger Report.

Education Department Undersecretary Ted Mitchell last month lauded Pell grants as “one of the key levers that we have” to increase college completion rates. But an analysis published Monday by Hechinger revealed that Pell recipient graduation rates are often considerably lower than the overall graduation rate — even six years after a student starts college.


9 Comments on Handing Out Pell Grants Is Like Throwing Money in an Incinerator

  1. Add this; heard a recent talk radio point on this, that the schools are greeding up their tuition rates to capitalize on government funding. This is just a no- win situation.

  2. I teach Industrial Technology at a small community college, so my students actually get jobs, but this article is spot on for the vast majority of college students. When something is just handed to you, it is never appreciated.

  3. I couldn’t have gone to college without Pell Grants. Of course, that was in the mid 70s at $20/credit. I also had loans, scholarships and worked while attending college.

  4. From my perspective…three degrees in three years; two Associate of Applied Science (AAS) and an Associate of General Studies (AGS), all three with honors: Summa Cum Laude and Phi Theta Kappa.

    Pell Grants in addition to the Veterans Retraining Assistance Program (VRAP) made it financially possible. To each and every decent, hardworking taxpayer who made this opportunity possible, “Thank you and may God bless!”

    Now for the really hard part…finding gainful employment!

  5. If I recall correctly, I was ineligible for a Pell grant in 1975 because my parents had a princely combined income of about $15,000. My roommate also couldn’t get one. Her mom, a divorced mother of five, made $15,000 a year teaching handicapped children, and got another $15,000 yearly in child support (which stopped at 18 in their home state) and alimony. My big treat was scraping up 35 cents for a bottle of Coke; she got her kicks by occasionally buying a newspaper.

    Pell grants are geared to the very, very poor. And we know that most poverty in this country is accompanied by a host of social dysfunctions. So I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that the poor culture simply doesn’t support the skill set necessary to complete college. Ergo, Pell grants are largely a waste of money–an expensive component of our failing, never-ending War on Poverty.

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