Thursday, October 16, 2014

Should Oregon borrow millions to endow college scholarships? Voters will weigh in

October 16th, 2014

Oregon Treasurer Ted Wheeler makes an unusually frank and modest case for why voters should approve Measure 86, which would allow the state to borrow money to endow a fund for college financial aid:
Taking on state debt isn't the best way to endow a scholarship fund, since all the debt has to be repaid with interest; directly allocating money from the state budget would pack nearly twice the wallop, Wheeler says.
Even if the fund were to grow as large as $400 million, which would take many years, that wouldn't solve the problems that make college unaffordable for many Oregonians; it would make only a dent, Wheeler acknowledges.
Wheeler calls Oregon's current $50 million a year in college financial aid "anemic" – yet his $400 million scenario would add only $5 million a year out of the gate and grow to average perhaps $25 million a year over the next 35 years.

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