The College Puzzle Blog
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Dr. Michael W. Kirst

Michael W. Kirst is Professor Emeritus of Education and Business Administration at Stanford University since 1969.
Dr. Kirst received his Ph.D. in political economy and government from Harvard. Before joining the Stanford University faculty, Dr. Kirst held several positions with the federal government, including Staff Director of the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Manpower, Employment and Poverty. He was a former president of the California State Board of Education. His book From High School to College with Andrea Venezia was published by Jossey Bass in 2004.

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My blog discusses the important and complex subjects of college completion, college success, student risk factors (for failing), college readiness, and academic preparation. I will explore the pieces of the college puzzle that heavily influence, if not determine, college success rates.

Cut Back on Middle Class Tax Credits for College Costs

Congress and the Clinton administration have expanded dramatically the tax credits for college costs. But they are used only by families with income high enough to use them. Congress should redirect some of the $5 billion spent on tax credits to enlarging the Pell grant for low income students. Such changes would allow pell grants to exceed $6,ooo which is close to the average tuition at the average 4 year public college. Pell grants have eroded significantly over the past 30 years. Now that congress and the Bush administration have recently increased pell grants, it is time to break the policy mode and go after the tax credits.

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