A Grand National Assessment of College Costs Is Cut to Scale

Lawmakers and federal officials decline to ante up, leaving a much smaller study of questionable value

When it comes to determining why college prices have surged so high, neither Congress nor the Clinton Administration appears willing to put its money where its mouth is. As a result, what was to have been a major study on college costs has been downgraded so much that its value is now in doubt.

In 1998, the Republican-led Congress ordered the Education Department's National