Friday, November 14, 2008

A Useful Reminder

by Andrew Gillen

The WSJ reports that pharmacy schools in India
must provide 168 square feet of building space for each student. The rule is intended to ensure students have enough space to learn. But it effectively caps enrollment at 300, even though students are spread so thinly in the eight-story building that the top floor remains unused, its lecture halls padlocked.

We have our share of convoluted and ill-conceived processes. Two that we've come across recently include student loans and Pell grants. The more you look into student loans, the more you realize the futility of it. If you think the FAFSA is bad, try disentangling what happens after a loan is made, or even worse, what happens if it defaults. Accounting for Pell grants is another example. If you're a public school, than GASB rules dictate that you report them as a federal grant. But if you're a private school, FASB rules allow you to count them as a federal grant or as an agency transaction, in which case they are not counted as a federal grant.

So while it's often disheartening to see such wasteful mazes (and the effects on those unable to navigate them successfully), it's useful to remember that it could be worse.

On a separate note, be sure to check out Secretary Spellings guest blog post over at Eduwonk.

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