Shady scholarship agencies rob students of money

State lawmakers must hold financial aid charlatans accountable.

Once again, higher education students in Colorado are getting screwed. On Monday, state lawmakers ordered CollegeInvest, the agency charged with running Colorado’s college loan forgiveness and scholarship plans, to report to them monthly after auditors found shady accounting practices had occurred. The agency, which lawmakers told the Associated Press has given only $91,000 of the expected $3.8 million in scholarships, has spent more than $12 million in “administrative expenses,” not including salaries and benefits, according to the audit. According to the article, auditors said in one specific case, members of the agency gave financial advisers $80 golf clubs. Lawmakers said colleges paid $10 dollars in administrative costs for every $1 awarded in scholarships. Colleges, like Colorado State University with a $13.1 million shortfall in fiscal year 2009, can’t afford to be hustled out of money that should filter back to students. But, instead of giving these higher ed money pimps what they really deserve, lawmakers are sitting idle. The time for hesitation is over. Universities, and students especially, cannot afford to sit on such improprieties. This money deserves to go to Colorado’s future (current higher ed students) instead of padding the pockets of money-grubbing “non-profit” thieves. Lawmakers should cowboy up, hold these people responsible and do the right thing: nail these crooks to the wall. This editorial, accessed via UWire, was originally published by the Rocky Mountain Collegian at Colorado State University.