The government records and documents student loans as a form of aid... When pundits say that “student aid” has exploded over the past decade and argue that aid is driving increases in tuition, it disguises that the “aid” which has exploded is a signficant amount of debt for young people...If loans are forgiven, or provided at sub-market rates or with interest-free deferrals of paybakcs, then they can be described as gifts or aid. Otherwise, they are just loans.
Student loans are an economic transaction, the same as if the government had contracted out to build a bridge or hired a person to serve in the military or police force or be a teacher. The money spent here isn’t “aid.”
17 September 2012
A "student loan" may not really be "financial aid"
I think a good point is made in a Salon op-ed piece entitled "Stop calling student loans 'financial aid'."