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American Opinion: On college aid

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Willmar Minnesota 2208 Trott Ave. SW / P.O. Box 839 56201

An excerpt from recent editorials in newspapers in the United States:

By The Associated Press

On college aid:

Recent developments at public colleges and universities leave little doubt that there is a need for the major overhaul of college aid programs approved by the U.S. House of Representatives . ...


So it was gratifying to find a bit of good news among all of higher education's low notes when the House passed the biggest overhaul of college aid programs since their inception in the 1960s.

The bill removes private lenders from the student loan business, which will save an estimated $47 billion to $87 billion, according to the Congressional Budget Office. It boosts Pell Grants and creates additional grant programs to improve community colleges and college graduation rates.

The measure faces a less certain future in the Senate, but its primary compromise -- a shift away from President Barack Obama's call for making Pell Grants an entitlement program much like Social Security and Medicare -- should help quell some of the concern over its impact on federal spending.

Americans could do a lot worse than to get behind a shift in national priorities that places a higher value on higher education. The United States can't perform on the global economic stage unless it competes with the rest of the world in its commitment to learning.

-- The Commercial Appeal, Memphis, Tenn.