by Max Brantley
Interesting story from Stephens Media this morning in which the Higher Ed Department says it may ask the legislature to limit colleges' spending on merit scholarships.
Colleges nationwide spend less than 10 percent of unrestricted money on scholarships; UCA and Arkansas Tech have been spending more than 30 percent. The article doesn't say so, but this spending has long rankled other colleges who grumble about destructive cutthroat competition for Arkansas students. The flipside is that limiting the small colleges -- a 15 percent cap was mentioned -- gives an advantage to the UA, with its relatively huge endowment for spending on scholarship help. The use of scholarship money has been critical in UCA's expansion of both total enrollment and the number of top students.