A big fat F. That's the grade former Governor Jim Hunt and staff at the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education (NCPPHE) is giving North arolina and 48 other states for keeping college affordable. The methodologies and rankings were curious. While the report highlights legitimate problems in the area of affordability and completion, I’m puzzled why North Carolina earns a B- minus in college completion when only 58 percent of students receive a degree in six years. If 58 percent is defined as good to acceptable, we are in denial about a real problem.
NCPPHE also displays a lot of confused thinking about solutions. More financial aid will not solve these problems. Federal financial aid was suppose to make college more affordable. Has it? Hunt’s own report reviews the ample data detailing spiraling tuition costs. Financial aid has only served to distort the true price of education and fueled the rise in tuition and college costs. The principle is the same in education — or health care. If the consumers are not paying the true cost, there is no incentive for “producers” — the colleges — to hold down cost. More federal financial aid will only further distort real prices.