Of course, as the Title IV regulations grow in number and scope every year, they affect profoundly the management deliberations of any college that is subject to their commands--which is to say, practically every college. The Higher Education Act is the very model of bureaucratic legislation: top down, complex, requiring interpretation of endless details by everyone concerned, and placing power over local things in remote beings whose very job titles are indecipherable, and who, also, have almost no direct contact with the actual things being accomplished.
Federal aid to higher education is politically potent. This is true because people who work in colleges are powerful. It is true also because the public, for a good reason and a bad one, believes in higher education and thinks it worthy of public support. Education is rightly seen as the road up, the avenue of progress for all. Popular government, moreover, requires a capacity for governing be widely spread, that education at all levels should impart the knowledge and civility requisites to good citizenship. Without these qualities, the people who make the laws will not act justly or respect liberty and the rule of law and the people who live under the laws will not know what to do about that. The preservation of the republic depends, therefore, upon a proper system of education. At its highest, education is the contemplation of the ultimate ends in virtue of which means are selected for the sake of private and public happiness. The American people's recognition of education's importance creates favor for a Higher Education Act presumed to serve these ends. However, those who believe that defense spending is excessive should think about the fact that since 9/11 defense spending has increased 47% while higher education spending has risen 133 percent. Which is out of control?