Evangelical Liberty University received half a billion dollars in federal aid money

One conservative college got more government cash than NPR last year

Topics: Education, War Room, Federal Deficit, Religion,

Evangelical Liberty University received half a billion dollars in federal aid moneyJerry Falwell

Liberty University, the evangelical private Christian school founded by dead apartheid-supporting bigot Jerry Falwell, received $445 million in federal financial aid last year. The Corporation for Public Broadcasting, by the way, received $420 million from the federal government.

That massive sum was thanks to the growth of Liberty’s online program, which enrolled 52,000 students last year. The school is the No. 1 recipient of Pell grant money in the state of Virginia. While it may seem like the federal government is basically subsidizing this formerly financially challenged ultra-conservative religious private school, LU’s executive director of financial aid sees it differently:



For Ritz — a financial aid veteran who got his start at a small Bible college — Liberty’s use of federal financial aid does not run counter to the university’s conservative values. Liberty does not receive the federal money directly, Ritz said, but through students, who use it to pay for tuition, room and board and other expenses.

“These funds are authorized by Congress and Congress is elected by voters. . . I’ve always been in the position where I believe I’m a steward of those federal funds. I’m a steward of tax-payer money.”

And I’m sure ACORN, Planned Parenthood and NPR feel the same way.

Liberty University — where the biology department teaches Young Earth Creationism — is, astoundingly, an accredited school of higher learning.

The school was broke and in debt until God killed Falwell for the insurance money.

[Via Dispatched From the Culture Wars]

Alex Pareene

Alex Pareene writes about politics for Salon and is the author of "The Rude Guide to Mitt." Email him at apareene@salon.com and follow him on Twitter @pareene

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