As the costs of higher education have soared, the value of Pell Grants has declined, making it more difficult for lower-income students to obtain an education without being hopelessly mired in debt. This Article proposes a new system of federal funding for higher education that would require a redirection of a portion of the funds from the Pell program and a reformation of the federal tax incentives for higher education to provide free community college/vocational school for lower- and middle-income students, without the need to raise additional taxes. This Article also addresses problems that such a proposal would raise, such as access, low retention/graduation rates at community colleges, and the role of proprietary institutions. By lowering many of the barriers that lower-income students face in obtaining a higher education, this proposal would make federal funding of higher education more efficient by providing a more skilled workforce and perhaps by reducing the amount of student loans in the future.
Camilla E. Watson,
The Future of Lower-Income Students in Higher Education: Rethinking the Pell Program and Federal Tax Incentives,
45 Fla. St. U. L. Rev.