I really, really need to stop reading the news. This, from the White House Blog on making college more attainable:
The fact that well over one million students who could qualify for aid went without it during the 2003-2004 school year is one indication that the application process is too complicated. Furthermore, students who do not apply for aid due to the complexity of the process may be discouraged from applying to college at all, reducing college attendance rates. As a result, the complicated process works at cross-purposes with our goal of increasing college attendance and completion. Experts widely agree that the system is in need of change. There are two broad strategies to simplify the financial aid application process that are currently under discussion.
One strategy is to make it easier to complete the current form. For example, according to The Institute for College Access and Success (TICAS), about two-thirds of the questions on income and assets that are included in the FAFSA form can be automatically answered using IRS data. This means that the U.S. Department of Education could obtain this information directly from the IRS, and the student or family would only be required to answer the remaining questions.
Uh, I know that some of these forms are a bitch, but they are do-able. Perhaps college isn’t the answer for everybody? Maybe being able to fill out the application can be used as part of the entrance exam?
Well we’ll have tons of graduates if that’s what they’re after; pay more government employees to fill the applications out ’cause they’re too hard, make sure that every student can comprehend and pass through four years to graduate (tough break for English teachers who will have to learn to adjust their expectations of reading and writing from students) and let’s pay for the whole kit and kaboodle too. Yeah, we’ll have a higher rate than those other countries once more. But what quality of graduate are we shoving out there?