Education Programs:

Major Issues Affecting Postsecondary Education, School-to-Work, and Youth Employment Programs

HEHS-97-212R: Published: Sep 15, 1997. Publicly Released: Sep 15, 1997.

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Carlotta C. Joyner
(202) 512-3000


Office of Public Affairs
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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on work it completed from 1990 through 1997 on postsecondary education, school-to-work, and youth employment training issues.

GAO noted that: (1) obtaining a postsecondary education is becoming even more essential to students' future earning power, while the cost of a postsecondary education is rising rapidly, contributing to the difficulty of students affording a postsecondary education; (2) in addition, some federal programs designed to help educationally and economically disadvantaged youth enter, stay in, and complete their postsecondary education or noncollege-bound youth obtain alternative work skills have not lived up to their expectations; (3) the limited effectiveness of these programs has contributed to the difficulty of some at-risk youth obtaining a postsecondary education; (4) the Department of Education, the principal federal manager of most of these programs, has had problems in implementing and overseeing student financial aid programs, as well as managing the programs; (5) this has led GAO to identify its student financial aid programs as high risk because of vulnerabilities to waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement; and (6) in its past work, GAO has not only discussed problems that kept some of these programs from meeting their statutory objectives, but also identified ways to improve the programs.

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