Prior to the kickoff of his bus tour to promote college affordability, The president unveiled the details of a new higher education reform plan. In the run-up to the Thursday’s speech in the University of Buffalo arena, Obama repeatedly promised the road map he planned to lay out was going to be \”controversial,\” and according to Sean McMinn of USA Today, he was not far off the objective.
McMinn outlines the three points raised by Obama which are likely to draw probably the most scrutiny. Obama’s proposal included calls to create school’s affordability a factor in determining whether it qualified for federal financial aid funds. Specifically, Obama asked for a list that will rank all schools in the united states by metrics for example level of student debt and loan default, graduation rates, and employment prospects post-graduation. Both the feds and state governments could make use of such rankings in determining advanced schooling funding levels for every school.
Obama really wants to expand the eligibility for his Pay as you Earn program, which allows some low-income graduates to cap their student debt repayment at 10% of their discretionary monthly income. He said the program’s current structure has two problems: not enough people are eligible – and many who are eligible don’t know it.
He announced Thursday an info campaign to show more students and graduates about Pay while you Earn, and that he called on Congress to grow the option for more college graduates.
“Government shouldn’t see student education loans as a way to make money, it should be a way to help students,” he explained.
Colleges and the steps they are able to take to become more affordable to students occupied the bulk of Obama\’s speech, but he did spare a portion to address his expectations of students as well C particularly those who receive financial aid. Obama talked about putting in rules that would bar students from receiving government grants if they had previously didn\’t complete courses funded through government largesse. There are several similar safeguards already in place, but should such measures be adopted, it would be the first time that federal aid would depend directly on the progress each student is making towards graduation.
Under his plan, federal educational funding would not be disbursed in a single lump sum at first of a year or semester, but would instead be spread out over the term.
Much of Obama’s remarks – which began the beginning of a three-campus, two-state bus tour to tout his tips on higher education – demonstrated a far more aggressive strategy on ideas he’s already outlined in previous speeches.
The president’s address Thursday came just one month after he hinted at a plan to reform higher education at Knox College in Galesburg, Ill. He promised there to “shake up” America’s advanced schooling system, and that he touched on trends of online learning and grading according to competency, not strictly testing.