Cranky (aka John Butcher) has been nosing around the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) database and come up with some interesting numbers comparing the graduation rate for students receiving different types of financial aid.
As seen in the chart above, the students graduating within four, five and six years at the lowest rate are those receiving assistance from the Virginia Commonwealth Award. As Cranky describes it bluntly, VCA is “subsidizing failure” more than any other source of financial aid. That’s quite an accomplishment considering that even the federal Pell program for low-income students out-performed VCA.
What do we know about the Virginia Commonwealth Award? There’s not much available online — mainly this fact sheet published by SCHEV:
The purpose of the Virginia Commonwealth Award is to assist undergraduate students with financial need and graduate students to pay part of their college costs. The funds are appropriated directly to each state supported institution. Funds may be used for need-based grants to Virginia resident undergraduates or for grants or assistantships to graduate students (both in-state and out-of-state). The law requires that the awards to undergraduates be proportional to need so that the students with the greatest need receive the largest awards.
Not that I looked at that hard, but I couldn’t find any document detailing how much money the VCA hands out each year or, more importantly, what the default rate is on loans. If the graduation rate of VCA students is lower than that of federal loans, and federal loans are experiencing significant defaults, it is logical to assume that the VCA is experiencing major defaults as well. Who is managing this program? Is anyone tracking the numbers?
Read John’s thoughts over at Cranky’s Blog. (By the way, I liked John’s headline so much that I stole it for my own post.)There are currently no comments highlighted.