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  • Will the 2016 budget enhance opportunities and affordability in our higher education?
  • Posted By:
  • Tom A.
  • Posted On:
  • 27-Feb-2015
  • Our economy is fast recovering, thanks to the determination and hard work of our businesses and of course our citizens. Our President has taken a lot of effort in making the middle class stronger financially.

    In the 2015 State of the Union address, our President made his intention of focusing more on higher education apparent. He stressed on improving affordability, providing enhanced access to post-secondary education and to measure student outcomes. He believes that long term civic prosperity and securing our country’s economy is possible only by expanding and strengthening the middle class.

    Global economy today is hugely demanding and the only way for our country to keep pace is to offer quality education for its future citizens. Students must be given access to the imperative post-secondary education without having to take on heavy loan debts.

    In keeping with his promise, our President has done his bit towards helping more students to graduate from college. This is evident with the statistics that show that financial aid available to postsecondary students has risen dramatically during his administration.

    In spite of this, the sad state remains that only one in ten student’s complete college from the low-income group. In order to ensure that all students, irrespective of circumstance or background succeed in college and eventually in their lives and career, it is imperative to close the opportunity gap.

    Continuing to strengthen the building blocks of higher education success, our President has put forth a 2016 fiscal budget request for education. The focus is on improving program effectiveness and increasing aid to students through reforms and initiatives.

    We already know that he continues to focus on protecting the Pell Grant value and ensure more number of students can take advantage of financial aid by simplifying application forms. He has initiated a process wherein there is enhanced apprenticeship opportunities and on-the-job training through strategic business partnerships. He has also effectively streamlined income-based repayment plans.

    America’s College Promise is an exciting proposal put forth by him in the budget. Just as high school is now, Obama wants to offer students two years of free college. At no cost, students can now gain skills needed in workforce after earning their certificate or associates degree and earning their first half of bachelor’s degree.

    Looking back, this concept has already worked well for our country. Decades of economic growth and prosperity was driven by making high school free and universal in the twentieth century. It pushed us to lead in the forefront in the global stage. Now nations across the world have caught up with us and we must get back to our glory by offering two years of college free.

    The 2016 fiscal budget is designed to improve federal student aid and make college affordable. When it comes to higher education, 2014 was a breakthrough year. However, much more needs to be done to make sure our economic recovery benefits more Americans. Our goal of having the most competitive, best educated work force can be realized only if progress is speeded up by our President’s fiscal year 2016 budget.


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