Friday, February 22, 2008

The Cost of Monitoring Students

National Security is no longer the current thought on everyone's mind. The crazy September 11th rhetoric has died down and made way to concerns such as the economy, immigration, and health care. America has realized that terrorism is not the only problem we face.

However, a recent Hatchet article reminded me that those few years of obsessing over national security will linger with us for years to come. Reporting on President Knapp's attempts to justify GW's price, the Hatchet writes:
In addition to high costs of operation coupled with a relatively small endowment, Knapp said rising energy bills and unfunded federal mandates have significantly contributed to high prices at GW. Many of these mandates were passed after Sept. 11 and require the school to monitor foreign student academic progress and report suspicious activity.
The government began to monitor foreign students in 1996 with the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act. The 2001 PARIOT Act and 2002 Enhanced Border Security and Visa Reform Act expanded these measures to include monitoring of student academic progress, changes in major, disciplinary action, etc. Foreign students now have to pay a $1oo fee to help fund the monitoring, but a lot of the burden falls on the university, which passes the costs of monitoring students onto the rest of us.

Knowing who is in the country is always a plus, but security measures come at a cost. Careful monitoring of foreign students, who are not the actual threat, doesn't make sense from a cost benefit analysis, particularly if the costs are on my exorbitant tuition bill.

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