Cutting aid to low-income students would be a form of eating our own seed corn. These programs contribute mightily to our nation’s bottom line. They create highly skilled workers. They stimulate our economy. They even help create jobs. Clearly, it is time for a reminder as to why these programs are so vital.
While the economic impact of these programs is critical, the social impact may be even more important. During the past 30 years, social mobility in America has become stagnant, with a tiny minority taking an increasingly large share of economic wealth, and a growing segment of our population completely closed off from college. The success of the American Dream, its very existence even, depends on our collective ability to throw open the doors of higher education.