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Colleges Need to Lower Tuition

As it’s unlikely that one federal policy will reverse the trend of rising college tuition, the Obama administration must attack the cost problem from many different angles.

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In a speech at the University of Michigan last month, President Barack Obama outlined his plan to make sure every family in America can afford to send their kids to college—a plan he first unveiled in his most recent State of the Union address. The president is addressing a major concern for American families today—75 percent of Americans say college is too expensive.

But colleges have been allowed to raise their tuition unchecked for decades, and until now parents and students—and the federal government, through grants and loans to students—were forced to foot the bill. As it’s unlikely that one federal policy will reverse this trend, the Obama administration must attack the college cost problem from many different angles.

The president’s plan acknowledges this by addressing three main issues surrounding college affordability: providing financial incentives for colleges to lower tuition; giving students better information about their college choices; and improving federal financial aid programs. A new issue brief from CAP’s Julie Morgan explains the highlights of the president’s plan and suggests some other strategies the president should employ.

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