Richard Vedder occasionally writes for The Washington Monthly's College Guide.  He proposes that financial aid policies have perverse incentives.
Between real taxes and the private tax imposed by the college’s anti-savings policies, the financially prudent family has to pay more than 73 percent of earnings, a crushing burden that the free-spending family avoids by consuming, rather than saving their money.
That's long been the case. Parents who pay off their house, and otherwise live below their means, discover that their children are not eligible for financial assistance.  Once upon a time, though, their children could manage the cost of college with a full-time summer job and a part-time academic year job.

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