Derek Hunter

Remember when the federal government took over student loans? That power grab was part of the Democrats’ push to make college ‘affordable.’ It didn’t work because it was never really designed to work, just to make people think they were ‘doing something’ to address the issue. But failure has never stopped our liberal/progressive friends from striving ‘forward.’

When it comes to soaring college costs, as President Reagan famously said, "Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem."

Since the government isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, cost savings in higher education have to be found elsewhere. But with government being the intrusive, ever-growing obstacle it is, you can’t expect it to sit by and do nothing as schools scramble to rein in costs.

I was talking with an education policy analyst friend of mine the other day about how much more expensive college has gotten ever since I graduated in 2000, and we bounced ideas around about how to control costs in ways that don’t involve government. (Yes, that’s what many of us inside this beltway bubble talk about over drinks. The rest of you are missing nothing!)

While government subsidizing education is a lion's share of the problem, one of the other issues we discussed is privatizing much of the administrative work. Just like in every public school district in the country, there is an enormous amount of overhead in the university system.

My friend told me about schools that were trying to control costs and the opening salvo of a move by progressives to stop even this modest effort.

About 1,600 schools across the United States have contracted with a company called Higher One to handle the disbursement of financial aid refunds to their students... Higher One saves these schools millions of dollars by disbursing these refunds at much lower costs than colleges can do it themselves. Needless to say, this helps slow the growth of tuition -- making school more affordable to low-income and non-traditional students.

You’d think this would be applauded by politicians and The Left. You’d be wrong.

See, Higher One commits the sin of making a profit.


Derek Hunter

Derek Hunter is Washington, DC based writer, radio host and political strategist. You can also stalk his thoughts 140 characters at a time on Twitter.