The U.S. House and Senate passed a higher education spending bill Friday that requires an immediate response from Frankfort.
It is the largest higher education spending bill since the G.I. Bill. And it all goes to finance a trip to college for students whose main qualification is financial need.
As soon as President Bush signs this bill, Kentucky must shift all its resources from need-based aid to merit-based aid and raise the standards on merit-based aid. Doing this may help keep middle-class families from being shut out of a college education merely because they have some ability to pay for it.
There are several party line-type criticisms I could make about this bill as there are some serious unintended consequences in it that liberals often seem to fall for. But there is no time for that. President Bush has said he will sign the bill.
A massive shift in state financial aid may be critical to the survival of our state colleges.