Dicta

The home of “things said” by the National Association of Scholars.

Making Higher Education Accountable

David Randall

How do we get from "Admissions Officer" to "Pell Grant Harvester"? David Randall gives us the story and how to reform colleges in this speech from Grove City College.

What the Tax-Reform Law Could do to Higher Education

Peter Wood

The new tax-reform bill has the potential to reshape the landscape of higher education. 

The Freedom to Learn Amendments 2.0

NAS

The National Association of Scholars has refined its proposed revisions to the Higher Education Act. What recommendations would you give to Congress?

The Freedom to Learn Amendments (Preliminary Draft)

NAS

The National Association of Scholars proposes revisions to the Higher Education Act. What recommendations would you give to Congress?

Non-Trump University

Chance Layton

NAS President Peter Wood writes about the "bait-and-switch" of American higher education.

Two Unintended Consequences of Federal Meddling

George Leef

George Leef dicusses the dubious effects and soaring costs of federal intervention in higher education.

Federal Loan Interest Rate Doubles

Ashley Thorne

Time is up, and future student borrowers will feel the sting of government control of higher education finance as a 6.8 percent interest rate on Stafford loans goes into effect.

Here's Some of that Famous Waste, Fraud, and Abuse

George Leef

Taxpayers lose $1 billion or more a year to fraudulent use of Pell grants.

Terence Kealey: America Needs a Truly Independent Research University

George Leef

Terence Kealey argues that the U.S. needs to have at least one truly independent research university - i.e., beholden neither to government nor to commercial interests for its research funding.

Three Pell Grant Scams

Richard Vedder

Vedder explains how U.S. Department of Education funds can become misused resources.

Galloping to Insolvency

Peter Wood

Peter Wood reviews a recent report that found that a third of American colleges and universities have unhealthy financial outlooks.

Misdirected Rebukes: For-Profits Aren't the Real Problem

Ashley Thorne

Pushing people into junk education is a problem; whether the junk is for-profit or not-for-profit is irrelevant.

College Is a Drain

Ashley Thorne

This week brought a shower of pronouncements about how college is squandering American resources. 

Give It the Old College Try

Richard Vedder

Richard Vedder criticizes low interest student loans, which he says will not be of much benefit to students and will serve to entice people to go to college unnecessarily.

Better Citizens: Obama’s Higher-Education Agenda, Part 4A of 8

Peter Wood

In the fourth installment of his eight-part series, Peter Wood examines the president’s goal of using American higher education to inculcate progressive political values.

The Worst of Both Worlds

George Leef

Federal student aid programs have given us the worst of both worlds -- rising costs and falling student learning.

Regulatory Overreach

Richard Vedder

Richard Vedder says the approval by the House of Representatives of a bill ending credit-hour and “state authorization” legislation is an important step in reining in the Obama administration.

Princeton and Urbana Universities: A Tale of Two Schools

Richard Vedder

Tax policies favor rich colleges, even though small, struggling liberal-arts colleges probably make far better use of incremental private donations, says Richard Vedder.

Price Controls: Obama's Higher Ed Agenda, Part 2 of 8

Peter Wood

In the second of an eight-part series, Peter Wood examines the president’s newly announced goal of capping tuition increases via federally imposed price controls.

Why They Seem to Rise Together: Federal Aid and College Tuition

Peter Wood

Peter Wood, Richard Vedder, George Leef, Hans Bader, and Herbert London weigh in on the Center for College Affordability and Productivity's new study on whether colleges raise tuition when they receive federal aid.

Bennett, Biden, and Boondoggles

Richard Vedder

The vice president appears to be the latest to agree that federal student-aid programs are contributing to rising college costs, writes Richard Vedder.

The Virtues of a Free Market in Postsecondary Education

George Leef

A bid for eliminating federal intervention and coercion of higher education.  

Are Outside Donors Dangerous to Academe?

George Leef

Mr. Walter dismisses the claimed threat of outside influence on academic matters.

FIRE Sends Open Letter to OCR on Sexual Harassment, NAS Co-Signs

Glenn Ricketts

We collaborate with FIRE against OCR guidelines that trivialize sexual harassment with severe results to the careers of those frivolously charged.

Video: Neal McCluskey on Student Loans Driving up Tuition

The associate director of the Center for Educational Freedom discusses college cost inflation with Andy Nash.

Peter Wood is Witness at Hearing on Value of Social Sciences to Taxpayers

Ashley Thorne

Peter Wood urged for "cuts to be made shrewdly" to national funding for the social sciences.

Video: Peter Wood Gives Congressional Testimony on Social Science Research

Ashley Thorne

Peter Wood argues before Congress that the National Science Foundation (NSF) should continue to fund research in the social, behavioral, and economic sciences, but that it should make strategic cuts to unscientific programs.

Ask a Scholar: Graduation Rates with Pell Grants

Matthew Denhart

Has there been a report made comparing graduation rates with and without Pell Grants?

The Education Dimaryp

Will Fitzhugh

A visual commentary on the priorities in American public schools.

Could Science Leave the University?

Peter Wood

Peter Wood wonders if the marriage of American research university and basic science may be on the rocks.

Radio: Obama-Ed

Ashley Thorne

Peter Wood appeared on University Talk radio to explain what will happen when student loans come directly from the government.

Tune In Tonight: Peter Wood on Direct Lending

Ashley Thorne

NAS President Peter Wood will be on the radio this evening speaking about federal direct lending.

Government Higher Ed Takeover Looms, NAS Reports

Ashley Thorne

Federal control of the student loan industry could mean serious unintended consequences for the university.

Obama Loans, Who Collects? The Not-so-Hidden Dangers of Federal Direct Student Lending

Peter Wood

Peter Wood paints a picture of what federal control of higher education could look like in practice.

Obama-Care Meets Obama-Ed

Peter Wood

The health care bill isn't the only government takeover Obama is seeking to pass through "reconciliation." He's also looking to take control of the student loan industry.

The State of the University

Ashley Thorne

What President Obama's State of the Union address means for the future of higher education.

Yes Minister and Foreign Students

Ashley Thorne

Carol Iannone, the Editor-at-Large of our journal Academic Questions, writes in:

Recently I just happened upon the DVDs of Yes, Minister, an absolutely superb British comedy series from the 1980s about a Cabinet Minister and his canny civil servant undersecretary.  Each episode is funny and amazingly intelligent and well written, satirizing some aspect of British government bureaucracy and its darkly comical failure to fulfill the public's needs. One episode concerned higher education, with lots of amusing details about the way it works in Britain.  (Oxford seems to be the alma mater of the greater part of the senior civil service, although not necessarily of the elected officials.)  One of the Oxford colleges is running out of money because the government has withdrawn the allowance for foreign students, a considerable 4000 pounds.  When asked why they don't take more British students, the dons express disdain at the mere 500 pounds that British natives get for attendance at Oxford. This reminded me that an interested friend informed me not long ago that American community colleges take foreign students.  He pointed out how irregular that is.  When you think about it, there is nothing in the stated aims and mission of the community college network, not to mention in the meaning of the word "community," that should entail accepting foreign students.  Could it also have something to do with the money, as in Yes, Minister?  Government money?  Or the money paid straight out by the foreign students themselves, or perhaps by their governments?

Privatize State Fine Arts Education

George Leef

North Carolina is one of three states with a government-run fine arts education institution. The UNC School of the Arts was created back in 1965 by politicians who thought it would be a good thing to somehow change the state's stereotype as a "good old boy" cultural wasteland and bring cultural uplift to large numbers of North Carolinians. The Pope Center is releasing (tomorrow, officially) a new paper that takes a critical look at the school and concludes that it ought to be privatized, thereby saving taxpayer money for other things and probably improving its operations to boot. In this week's Clarion Call, I comment on the paper.

Building Sandcastles or Filling Holes?

Ashley Thorne

Andrew Smarick holds the White House accountable for its use of education stimulus funds.

Single Payer Lending

Peter Wood

The U.S. Houses passes "direct lending" bill as part of President Obama's plan for higher ed. What does it mean?

A Safer Way to Squander

Ashley Thorne

President Obama announces the American Graduation Initiative, a $12 billion dollar fund for community colleges.

Tapping the Bottle

Ashley Thorne

Achieving the Dream works for equity, not equality.

Affirmative Spoils

Peter Wood

Is affirmative action today mainly about equal opportunity, equal results, or neither?

Cellular Division

Peter Wood

NAS invites scholars to debate President Obama's decision to revoke the ban on federal funding for embryonic stem cell research.

Shopping Spree

Peter Wood

Higher education needs to spend many unbudgeted billions by the end of this month. Will you help?

Deferred Maintenance

Peter Wood

A call for financial accountability in higher education

Congratulations President-Elect Obama

Steve Balch

We wish our nation's next leader every success in the service of America.

Out of the Valley of the Shadow: The AALE Reprieved

Steve Balch

Liberal arts accreditor AALE recently survived a narrow scrape with organizational demise. NAS president Steve Balch draws some conclusions from AALE's trip to the brink and back.

Hand It Over: Colleges Take Outside Scholarships for Granted

Dean Chin

Will outside scholarships, state and federal grants, or corporate employee tuition benefits help reduce my child

Save It or Scrap It?

Peter Wood

Come the next presidency, what's to be done with No Child Left Behind?

Fortunes from Foreigners

We encourage you to send us information you deem relevant, concerning full disclosure of large foreign gifts. We invite you to be attentive to this matter at both your current universities of contact and your own alma mater.

U.S. Commission: "Little Evidence" Diversity Improves Student Performance

The United States Commission on Civil Rights has just issued a major report, The Benefits of Racial and Ethnic Diversity in Elementary and Secondary Education. (Available in PDF here.) The Commission reached a startling conclusion: "there is little evidence that racial and ethnic diversity in elementary and secondary schools results in significant improvement in academic performance."