Archive for November 19th, 2012

November 19, 2012

We spend $40 billion yearly on Pell Grants, but we have no idea about results

by Grace

Lack of accountability:  The government hides results on a program that costs taxpayers billions of dollars each year.

2. How Do Pell Students Do?

Let us move on to the Pell Grant program, on which our nation spends more than $40 billion a year. Surely with such a large expenditure, we would have and publish detailed statistics on how recipients fare in college, right? NO. What is the percent of Pell Grant recipients at four-year colleges receiving their degree within four, five, or six years?  The Department of Education has such data for graduates of every accredited school in the country -why don’t they have it for those receiving the federal government’s largest grant program?

My guess is that the figure is so embarrassingly low that the government doesn’t want it published. I wrote a year or so ago that the Pell Grant graduate rate, after six years, was 40 percent, based on a bit of statistical estimation I did. No one seriously questioned my result. For every two students who -after six years -succeed to get a degree, three fail. Yet spending on this program has expanded enormously in recent years.

Richard Vedder writes about two other “Things Colleges Don’t Want Us to Know”

 What Are the Teaching Loads?

 How Much Do Students Actually Learn?

Related:  Pell spending is down while number of participating students is up (Cost of College)

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