• Deep-State Favoritism And Incompetence Currently Derailing College Applicants

    March 18, 2024
    Screenshot, FAFSA

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    If you have a child heading into college this fall, you may already be aware of the Federal government’s latest massive botched rollout within its Free Application Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) program. Millions of families and thousands of colleges depend on the FAFSA program to assess the financial eligibility of prospective students/families for federal aid. And, in turn, the colleges require that number to determine their final aid package and tuition amount.

    The application process for Sept. ’24 started last fall, with the initial submission of the FAFSA apps including family financials. Some 15 million applications annually are anticipated to be received over six months, heading to a deadline of May 1st when the Federal Aid number is expected to be in the hands of the colleges. The FAFSA website, which was scheduled to launch in October, crashed and did not launch until December, and then amid a myriad of technical foul-ups, delays and malfunctions.

    In the ‘truth is stranger than fiction’ category, the tech firm responsible for FAFSA’s website and application process, General Dynamics Information Technology (GDIT), is one of the contractors responsible for the infamous ObamaCare website rollout debacle, which made fiasco headlines for months in late 2013. Back for an encore, GDIT snarled applicants with dozens of technical problems turning what was targeted as a 15-minute process into hours of circular processes, mis-fires, waiting, if the applicant even managed to complete the submission. Most applicants were sidelined.

    So, even the massive tech failure of the ObamaCare rollout, which cost families needing health insurance millions, didn’t stop the political mandarins running the federal bureaucracy from re-engaging GDIT, a tech firm central to the failure. And GDIT has not only been involved in Health and Human Services and the Education Department's federal financial aid program, but also has contracts with Social Security and Medicare as well! But the Federal Government’s incompetence in its favoritism in hiring technology contractors is just a piece of its overall profound mission failure.

    Many student applicants who did manage to get their Apps through the FAFSA system found themselves waiting… and waiting. In early March the scandal broke wide open when it was discovered by FAFSA administrators that they left some 70,000 Apps untouched for months in the department’s inbound e-mail box. Timing is crucial. Families need to know if they’re to receive federal tuition aid and if so, how much. They face a deadline of May 1st at which point the colleges expect to begin making acceptance decisions. The Department of Education currently has some 5 million Apps in hand with 10 million more expected. And their incompetence has left them with just six weeks to clear this entire backlog.

    The Senate Health & Education Committee recently announced that the Government Accounting Office (GAO) has launched an investigation into the whole affair. The senators’ phones must have lit hot with complaints. The Department of Education’s (DoEd) main purpose is “establishing policies on federal financial aid for education, and distributing as well as monitoring those funds.” The May 1st deadline for selecting colleges is now in jeopardy for hundreds of thousands of applicants. The Department currently receives an annual budget of some $82 billion, and has now botched its primary mission for this year.

    Many reading this article may themselves be currently caught up in this massive imbroglio. The fact that this Federal program reaches across Middle-America brings federal incompetency home to many citizens. And this debacle will inordinately hurt the lower income and minority communities that Democrats always crow about serving, but never fail to throw under the bus. Favoritism and profound unaccountability facilitating 4,400 bureaucrats, redistributing $80 billion of taxpayer funds this year right into a massive SNAFU – and they’ll most assuredly be expecting a 5% budget increase from the taxpayers to do it all over again next year. And this is the lightest-funded of all the cabinet departments!

    And Jim Himes will defend it all, as he has on many occasions when asked by constituents about containing federal spending at his town halls. After all, he’s financially flush - his kids didn’t have to sweat out the federal financial aid meat-grinder. He’ll tell you education is vitally important and too many kids lack opportunities. Meanwhile, the inflation in higher education has been roaring for a couple decades… all facilitated by federal aid and loan programs, which encourage colleges to spend even more on buildings and administration, and pass it on to the students.

    Because Middle America interfaces with DoEd, its incompetence has been exposed to the broader population. But the same unaccountability and incompetence are embedded throughout the Federal bureaucracy, which doesn’t interface with the public. The running Federal deficit has been driven to over $2 trillion annually. Department managements need to be replaced with people from the private sector who know how to manage by objectives and to a bottom line. The entire Federal Government could probably be run with a budget half its current $7 trillion burden. Its serious re-vamping should be a major issue for all seeking federal office. It’s certainly on my list of priorities.

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    Bob MacGuffie

    Bob MacGuffie is currently seeking the Republican congressional nomination to oppose Jim Himes in the 2024 election: www.bobmacforcongress.com

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