A story in the Lynchburg News & Advance caused some problems for Liberty University. So many problems that the University blocked online access to the newspaper’s website for a couple of days. It seems they didn’t appreciate the public knowing or their students being able to access the story that the private evangelical school ranked #1 in Pell Grant dollars in Virginia and according to Salon.com
received more federal money than NPR during the 2009-2010 school year.
A second story by the News & Advance
appeared on April 12 indicating that Liberty had indeed blocked access to the online version of the News & Advance for at least one day. Jerry Falwell Jr. is Chancellor of the Unversity and responded to questions about access:
“Most of the websites that are blocked have to do with obscene material, material that is inappropriate,” Falwell said. “It just so happened last week The News & Advance was blocked for a day or two. We’re a private organization and we don’t have to give a reason and we’re not.”
The original story
appeared in the News & Advance March 27 and detailed information about the $455 million Liberty received in federal funds through financial aid packages for its students. Financial aid to the college has increased 56 percent from the 2008-09 to the 2009-2010 school year. The financial aid staff at the college has increased from 51 to 148 employees. Liberty attributes this almost three-fold increase to its rising online enrollment.
The school received $55 million in Pell grants for its students last year, which garnered them the No. 1 ranking in Virginia for Pell grant dollars. Interestingly, Liberty also appeared in a top ten list dominated by for-profit schools.
One of two major federal loan programs, FFEL allowed students to borrow government-backed money from banks and other lenders. Liberty was the lone Evangelical Christian school on a top-ten list dominated by for-profit institutions. Other top recipients were the University of Phoenix and Kaplan University.
Since the Tea Party and Republicans are so hell bent on cutting welfare programs including Pell Grants, I wonder how Mrs. Radtke feels about her alma mater receiving $455 million federal tax dollars last year. Also wondering how she feels about her alma mater’s censorship of the newspaper that published the story. Welfare for conservative evangelicals? I’ve never heard of such a thing, have you?