John Edwards recently released his two-part “college for everyone” plan and it didn’t seem like a very good idea to me, but I sort of wanted to see what people who knew what they were talking about thought. Erin Dillon from Education Sector thinks it doesn’t seem like a very good idea: “I worry that this program would end up leaving out the students who need the most help, and inadvertently shift grant aid to students who tend to receive more in other forms of financial aid, like tax credits, loans, and merit-based institutional aid.”
I worry, too. Edwards’ other thing, about helping people apply for existing financial aid channels, seems to be clearly a good plan. One of the hallmarks of Edwards’ 2004 campaign was this kind of low-hanging policy fruit, delivering progressive results through better technocracy. It’s been good to see him move toward embrace of more dramatic policy shifts, but also good to see that that hasn’t involved ditching one of the worthier aspects of his earlier political persona.