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Panel Says Higher Education Needs Overhaul

Last updated on Monday, April 10, 2006

(INDIANAPOLIS) - A blue-ribbon federal panel on the future of higher education says financial aid for college needs an overhaul.

The commission held two days of hearings in Indianapolis before returning to Washington, D.C. for a final meeting next month.

An estimated 4-8% of all students pass up college because they can't afford it. Miami of Ohio President James Garland proposes subsidizing students instead of schools. The money which now goes to state universities would instead go to students considered in need. University of Texas Vice-Chancellor Barry Burgdorf recommends pruning some of the 17 federal financial aid programs. He says the current system is inefficient for both the government and colleges.

The 19-member panel is to deliver its report to Education Secretary Margaret Spellings in June.

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