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Paying for College Has to Be Easier Than This

The Honorable Sheila C. Bair

By Sheila Bair (original source  Wall Street Journal) 

“In 2004, I published a children’s book, “Rock, Brock, and the Savings Shock,” about the importance of saving at an early age. During one of my book events, a mother astonished me when she revealed that she had advised her son not to save because it would hurt his eligibility for student-loan programs.

Twelve years later, as the president of a small liberal-arts college, I more fully appreciate the upside-down government policies that precipitated that woman’s remarks. With federal student debt exceeding $1.2 trillion, I am dismayed at how government programs discourage families from saving for their children’s educations. The disincentives involve a complex web of federal-aid-eligibility requirements, consolidated into a mind-bending application process known as Fafsa, or Free Application for Federal Student Aid. The higher the family’s income or savings, the lower the amount of aid for which the student can qualify.”

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