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Monday, August 26, 2013

Presidential mailbox: Make school affordable! edition

So I got a new email from Mr. Obama. Lets review it.

Michelle and I wouldn't be in the White House today if it weren't for our college educations.
It wasn't cheap. We didn't finish paying off our student loans until about nine years ago.

You graduated from Harvard in 1991, finished paying off school debts 2004. That’s 13 years. Of course, a Harvard law school debt is a large one. And working as a Lecturer and author until 2004 probably didn’t help paying off that large debt.

That's why it's been a personal mission of mine to make higher education more affordable for more Americans -- and starting today, I'm hitting the road to talk about real reforms to fundamentally rethink how we pay for college in this country.

Do tell.

Right now, the average student who takes out loans to pay for school graduates with more than $26,000 in debt. Something's got to change -- it's not enough just to tinker around the edges. We've got to shake up the current system.

Agreed. Let’s shake it up. But the question is, how?

My plan won't be popular with everybody, especially those who profit from the way things are. But we owe it to our students to make sure that our colleges are working for them.
While we'll need Congress' help to get some of this done, my administration will continue to do what we can to make sure quality, affordable higher education is in reach for millions more young Americans.

Like what?

So far, we've taken some good steps forward. We've published college scorecards to ensure that families are getting the best information as they pick a school, doubled funding for Pell grants, and established a college tax credit. And thanks to the income-based repayment program, which caps student loan payments based on new graduates' incomes, 1.6 million young Americans can keep more money in their pockets.

You mean you’ve made it easier to take on more debt and are giving away more money? Awesome. I’m sure that is going to bring down the cost of college everywhere. Its just basic economics: Free Money = Lower Prices. Everybody knows that.

But there's much more we can and should do -- this is key to creating a better bargain for the middle class.
That's something I've talked a lot about -- every day, I think about what I can do to live up to it.
That's why I'm calling on Congress to tackle rising tuition costs and pass reforms, so families can get a better bargain when it comes to getting a world-class education.
I'm counting on OFA supporters to be part of this fight. Not much gets done in Washington without the voices of people like you.
Add your name:

HOW?!?!! “Tackle rising tuition costs” sounds like price controls to me. And we all know how well that works. But since not much gets done without my voice, I better go sign my name to this vague policy-less policy on your website. (I’ll be right back!)

PS – Shaking the system up does not mean allowing more debt. It means doing drastic things to reduce the actual cost of college… like saying “Hey Dude, maybe you don’t need to go to college”