$2 million spent by PHEAA on giveaways

Jan Murphy of the Patriot News exposes more PHEAA expenses – including “giveaways” such as golf balls, LL Bean Jackets, and T-Shirts bearing the PHEAA logo, I-Pods and DVD players, and candy (including Gummy Brains, which look disgusting). Rep. Josh Shapiro gets the punch line:

Gummy brains?” Shapiro asked. “The officials at PHEAA must have gummy brains if they were willing to waste scholarship money on these types of wasteful expenditures.”

Sean Logan half-heartedly defends PHEAA,

Sen. Sean Logan, D-Allegheny County, PHEAA’s board vice chairman, said in a recent interview that there’s a big difference between PHEAA and other state agencies.

“There’s one turnpike, one place to get a driver’s license, one Department of Welfare, but there isn’t just one place to get a student loan,” Logan said. “PHEAA has to compete with some of the largest for-profit corporations, so some of that stuff needs to be done.”

“We engaged in marketing activities to grow our business outside of Pennsylvania … and we also had to engage in marketing activity to retain our market that our competitors were trying to take away in Pennsylvania,” he said.

Which raises the obvious question: Why is PHEAA a government agency?