Summary/critique - Book Report/Review Example

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In “It’s Time for Serious Reform of the Student-Aid System,” author Sandy Baum divulges into the inconsistencies and inadequacies of the various financial aid systems for undergraduate students. Baum argues that while there are many opportunities for students to receive…
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Article Summary and Critique In “It’s Time for Serious Reform of the Aid System,” Sandy Baum divulges into the inconsistencies and inadequacies of the various financial aid systems for undergraduate students. Baum argues that while there are many opportunities for students to receive financial aid, very few of them exist to benefit the lower-income students who have more of a financial need. She believes that the current student aid funds are not optimally distributed and that many students are unable to take advantage of them. As such, she feels that the student-aid system should be reformed. Baum uses nation-wide statistics from the many grant-aid programs to show where the money is being distributed and how the most needy students are also the most ignored, as well as how schools are focusing more on academic merit than financial need when distributing their own aid.
The greatest strength in the arguments against financial aid systems that Baum brings forth is that they are both logical and valid. By using statistics from colleges and universities nationwide, Baum supplies sufficient proof to reveal how unbalanced the financial aid system is. She displays that there is quite a bit of money to help students with college expenses, but very little attention is given to the students that truly need the help. Yet another strength in Baum’s argument is her vast knowledge of how all of the financial aid systems work and how students from different socioeconomic backgrounds are affected.
The major and most noticeable weakness in the argument against financial aid systems is that Baum seems almost indecisive in trying to determine if the flaws are really that horrific. She spends the majority of the article arguing against the current financial systems and their methods of distribution, but then she makes the claim that the student-aid system is a success story. While both can be seen as legitimate truths, she did not focus enough time, if any at all, on why she thinks the student-aid system is a success story. I believe both claims are valid, that the financial aid system is successful and needs improvement, but Baum should have elaborated more on the positives of the financial aid system, especially since she brought the point forward to begin with.
Works Cited
Baum, Sandy. "Its Time for Serious Reform of the Student-Aid System." Change Magazine. N.p., 12 Mar. 2007. Web. 7 Nov. 2011. . Read More
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