Republicans turn a skeptical eye on effects of federal college aid

Congressional Republicans are turning a critical eye on the federal government's role in driving up the cost of higher education.

A House Ways and Means subcommittee headed by Rep. Peter Roskam of Illinois has scheduled a hearing Wednesday on the rising cost of college and the role that federal tax policy may play in driving it.

The hearing follows one by the Joint Economic Committee, at which Republican lawmakers and conservative witnesses blamed federal student loans and aid for allowing colleges to boost tuitions.

"From a taxpayer's perspective, the free flow of federal student loan dollars to higher education institutions, without proper incentives to control costs, will continue to lead to higher tuition prices charged to students," Sen. Dan Coats of Indiana, the committee's chairman, said at the hearing.

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