You got me pegged, I'm a capitalist. That being said I've also done my homework on markets an lending. I don't think that removing federal funding is a "libertarian expirment" but instead introducing the natural checks and balances that exist in a free market through risk. Risk is what would stem the "gold rush" because frankly, nobody is in it to lose money. As for freely available credit, do you consider this latest housing debacle to be a more sound method of a government/industry relationship? Removing risk or the perception of risk creates an irrational marketplace and that's when taxpayers, loan consumers and public stakeholders really lose out. Sorry if I sound too much like Adam Smith, but removing freely available credit with no risk to the lenders will lower the price of education because of less demand. Fewer available loan dollars equals fewer students, regardless of their desire to go to school, thereby reducing demand. As to the gateway to a better life argument, that could be said of those wanting to buy a house too.