Which is what Virginia Postel does in a new column for Bloomberg. Her basic point — that government subsidies help drive up the cost of education — is certainly correct. Postel identifies two groups that are especially hard hit by this policy:
This doesn’t mean that colleges capture all the aid in higher tuition charges, any more than capital-equipment companies get all the benefit of investment tax credits. But it does set up problems for two groups of students in particular. The first includes those who don’t qualify for aid and who therefore have to pay the full, aid-inflated list price. The second encompasses those who load up on loans to fill the gaps not covered by grants or tax credits only to discover that the financial value they expected from their education doesn’t materialize upon graduation.