BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - When President Obama arrives in Buffalo he will waste no time taking aim at the escalating cost of higher education.
In a press release Thursday morning, the White House unveiled the president's plan to make college more affordable. The presidents wants to tie financial aid to college performance, starting with publishing college ratings before the 2015 school year. The White House says this will identify colleges for providing the best value and encourage colleges to improve. The White House is aiming to hold students and colleges receiving student aid responsible for making progress toward a degree.
We can also expect President Obama to talk about promoting innovation and competition, by challenging colleges to offer students more affordable, high-quality options than they do today. Obama is also expected to lay out plans to ensure that student debt remains affordable.
President's plan- Details from White House:
Paying for Performance
• Tie financial aid to college performance, starting with publishing new college ratings before the 2015 school year.
• Challenge states to fund public colleges based on performance.
• Hold students and colleges receiving student aid responsible for making progress toward a degree.
Promoting Innovation and Competition
• Challenge colleges to offer students a greater range of affordable, high-quality options than they do today.
• Give consumers clear, transparent information on college performance to help them make the decisions that work best for them.
• Encourage innovation by stripping away unnecessary regulations.
Ensuring that Student Debt Remains Affordable
• Help ensure borrowers can afford their federal student loan debt by allowing all borrowers to cap their payments at 10 percent of their monthly income.
• Reach out to struggling borrowers to ensure that they are aware of the flexible options available to help them to repay their debt.
News 4 spoke with White House officials about the president’s speech. According to the White House, the average cost of attending colleges and universities has increased more than 250 percent over the last three decades. The problem is, the average income for families has only grown by 16 percent. The president is expected to talk about the idea of rethinking how the nation pays for higher education.
White House Domestic Policy Council Director Cecilia Munoz said, “He is very, very serious about making sure to hold colleges and universities accountable for their costs, to hold states accountable for making sure they're investing in a college education for students all across the country.”
The president’s visit comes at a crucial time for Buffalo Public Schools, which are spiraling into turmoil and facing a serious deadline to turn around schools. That deadline is Friday.
Wednesday, we asked the White House if the president was aware of the situation here in Buffalo. Munoz said, “I can say that the president is aware of the challenges in the public school system.”
Buffalo School Superintendent Pamela Brown is expected to meet with the president, along with a small group of local leaders some time Thursday. We don’t know exactly what they will be talking about, or when it will take place.
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