Ho-ho-ho, it’s Irony Santa coming to visit us in July.

The Washington Post reports that Liberty University, the strict fundamentalist Christian institution founded by Jerry Falwell in 1971, is now the largest private nonprofit university in America—thanks primarily to Democratic-supported expansions in federal student aid.

Fifteen years ago, Liberty had 5,939 undergraduate students and 735 graduate students. Last fall, the university enrolled 49,744 undergraduates and 31,715 graduate students.

[...] Data from the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia shows that federal aid has grown five times faster than enrollment.

In the late 1990s, Liberty students received less than $20 million in aid. Students now receive over $800 million dollars a year in federal aid.

“Many students find Liberty attractive,” writes Tobin Grant, “because they can take courses online and can have enough federal aid to cover their living expenses. Federal aid to Liberty’s students has grown so high that it now exceeds the revenue collected by the university.”

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It’s upsetting that $800 million dollars is going to an institution that teaches creationism at a college level, but that’s America for you. Generous federal aid, of course, is consistent with the values espoused Mary Magdalene’s famous speech on Mount Ararat, the theme of which can be roughly translated from Biblical apocrypha as “Bitch Better Have My Expanding Government Programs.” But it’s not consistent with the views of the Republican politicians who use Liberty University as a sort of signaling grounds. For example, Ted Cruz kicked off his presidential campaign at Liberty in March of this year; in 2012, he literally stumped for dissolving the Department of Education.

In conclusion, everyone’s doing great.


Contact the author at jia@jezebel.com.

Image via AP