Our roles in combating fraud, helping students get the aid they need

Excellent article in Inside Higher Ed today: http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2012/07/13/distance-education-advocates-worry-about-proposed-changes-pell-grant

I could not agree more with Chris Mullins of ITC.  Making rules about limiting funding to online students is discrimination.  Our roles in combating fraud are strongest not in denying online students aid but in being diligent about reporting never- and non-attenders (students who have not “shown up” or who not made substantive contributions to the class).

We are personally responsible for NOT allowing students to enroll in our online ICC classes and collect aid without doing the work.  But to categorically deny aid for living expenses of online students is ridiculous.  Apparently someone in the federal government thinks rent and Ramen noodles in cyberspace are free?  <grin>  Your thoughts?

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One response to “Our roles in combating fraud, helping students get the aid they need

  1. I agree that just cutting the money is wrong, but so is ignoring the problem. Neither is correct. As with so many problems, a worthwhile solution is somewhere in the middle. As with so many problems, this doesn’t work in a “Black & White” environment.
    I suspect the inventors of the stated solution picture all students as what students were fifty years ago: stay at home for free, or go to college at great expense. The child that goes to college from the home of Mom and Dad gets fed by the parents and has no rent to pay. As we all know, many students don’t fit this stereotype.
    One possibility is to pay the money to the college and have the college distribute the money to the student. Tuition and such are used immediately. That which is devoted to room and board is distributed on perhaps a monthly basis. A federal or state organization could do it, but I would not trust them to distribute the money to the right people or at the right time.
    The problem with college distribution is of course potential dishonesty, but that exists even if the college is in charge of only reporting dropouts to the financial aid organizations. No real difference can happen if colleges continue supplying the same information. It becomes the college’s responsibility to send back what it still has, and the student’s responsibility to return what has already been used.

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