"... some observers worry that students pursuing profitable degrees in engineering or business would get better repayment terms than those studying to become nurses or teachers..."
And that sounds completely REASONABLE.
I know you really want a giant grant so you can get that PhD in Russian Literature but you know what? To live, you need money. To have money, you need to have a job. Life is work, and work is (usually) shit. If you're staggeringly lucky, you get to do something you love for pay. More often, you rationalize whatever enjoyment you can out of what gig you can get.
But you're simply not entitled to do what you want, and have someone else pay for it. I'm sorry if your parents never taught you that. We can talk all day long about the bullshit costs of colleges, and I'll entirely agree with you. My dad? Full ride as a football player in 1955 to the U of MN, this was noted in the paper as worth $300/year.
I went to the same school in 1986-1990, and my college education cost about $3600-$4500 annually as I recall.
My son going to the same school this year, it's about $25k/year.
Using RoI calculators on the web, my dad's tuition this year would be $2600.
Mine would be $9800.
That's absolute horse shit, and personally I suspect at least part of it has to do with ample grants and easy loans since the mid 1980s. Clearly, it's not going to teachers.