In case you missed it
January 03, 2006
In case you missed it, before Congress left Washington DC for the holiday break it passed a budget bill that cut $12.6 billion from the student loan program. Many of the national higher education associations have been lobbying to defeat the proposal.
Read a letter they sent to Senators here: http://www.acenet.edu/AM/Template.cfm?Template=/CM/ContentDisplay.cfm&ContentID=13427
This recent vote demonstrates the lack of political power that higher education currently exercises. Before 1994, national higher education associations and institutions had significant leverage with federal lawmakers. Unfortunately, that power has diminished very quickly because these associations have not changed with the times. Over the last ten years, trade associations, non-profits and businesses have developed grassroots programs to pressure lawmakers to support their requests. Read an earlier post about this here: http://tippingpoint.typepad.com/blog/2005/10/a_wake_up_call_.html
Now is the time for higher education associations to catch up with the rest of the Washington establishment and develop aggressive grassroots programs. With increased competition for state and federal money it is the only way higher education will be able to survive. Read more about the Senate vote here: http://insidehighered.com/news/2005/12/22/senate