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  • President Obama stresses on improving higher education affordability
  • Posted By:
  • Tom A.
  • Posted On:
  • 17-Apr-2015
  •  The aim of our president is to make sure that each and every American willing to study is able to access and afford higher education. Obama said in his weekly radio address that aspiring students face a constant barrier in the form of cost of higher education.

    He also stressed on the fact that it is absolutely important for as many students as possible to attain a college degree in order to ensure future success. As compared to Americans without a bachelor’s degree, average citizens with a degree earn at least $28,000 more a year.

    Again as compared to those who do not get their bachelor’s degree face a bigger unemployment rate than those who graduate. This directly translates to the fact that in order to have a job, it is imperative to obtain a bachelor’s degree.

    To solve this issue, our president is planning on introducing fresh new initiatives. One of the major initiatives involves reforms in the student loan system. Reforms will ensure the expansion of college tax credits and amount of grants which will ensure that students can access more money.

    He also proposed that student loan repayment will be limited to ten per cent of their income. Another proposal he placed before the congress is to help students benefit from the lower interest rates of today through their existing loan refinancing.

    He placed emphasis on the fact that universities must complement the efforts of the federal government by reducing their costs. This he proposed can be done by incorporating scorecards that will help evaluation of schools by students and parents before they enrol and by linking performance of colleges to federal aid.

    Many colleges across the country are already endorsing our president’s approach. From Virginia, at least fifty higher education leaders sent a letter to Arne Duncan, the education secretary.
    They mentioned that they fully supported the government’s efforts to improve work in this area through accountability. They however voiced their concerns that the college rating system proposed by Obama may not work effectively.

    According to the proposed new rating system, colleges will be rated based on number of students who qualify for Pell Grants, income of graduates, transfer and graduation rates, average debt, average tuition and percentage of students who continue their education to obtain advanced degrees.

    They opine that a flawed system will emerge through dependence on graduate earnings. Moreover, they said that colleges will start enrolling high income students to enhance rates of graduation and subsequently ratings.

    They wrote that there is a risk of higher education institutions being penalized for students who decide to work in the non-profit sector or public service with a lower starting salary than their peers.
    President Obama concluded the address by asking students to aim higher, work harder and take their higher education as a challenge.

    He also said that this is a challenge for himself too. He wants youngsters heading to college to personally take more responsibility and push themselves. It is now up to our students to take advantage of the reforms and strive to succeed.


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