Washington, D.C. — Higher education experts from the Center for American Progress today released the following reactions to President Barack Obama’s proposals aimed at making college more affordable:
Carmel Martin, Executive Vice President for Policy at the Center for American Progress:
The president is right to call for an all-hands-on-deck approach to tackling college costs. Few issues are more important to middle-class families than ensuring their children can successfully complete a college degree. The president is asking the higher education community to do what they help other sectors do every day—innovate. Many institutions are already finding ways to innovate to improve quality while reducing cost, but more systemic efforts are greatly needed. The federal government should continue to expand its support for student aid, including expanding access to manageable repayment plans. States need to step up, not step back, on their support for public institutions. Institutions need to take responsibility for the value of their programs. And students and families need to be armed with better information about the costs and outcomes associated with educational opportunities.
Anne Johnson, Director of Generation Progress:
Every American borrowing student loans needs the option of income-based repayment plans that will work for them today. College costs have skyrocketed, and more students have turned to borrowing in order to finance that degree. But today, they are struggling. We have seen the benefits of plans like Pay As You Earn, which allows borrowers to make good on their debt in a reasonable timeframe, and rewards those who pursue much-needed careers in public service. The federal government can help, and should work as quickly as possible to implement meaningful reforms to our financial aid system like those outlined by President Obama today.
To speak with a CAP higher education expert, please contact Katie Peters at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202.741.6285.
Related Resources from the Center for American Progress and Generation Progress:
- Student-Loan Debt Has a Rippling Negative Effect on the Broader Economy: In comments submitted to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, CAP and Campus Progress identify some of the financial hurdles that student-loan borrowers may face and how these hurdles may affect the future housing market and economy.
- A Stronger Middle Class Leads to More Investment in Post-Secondary Education: The rise in U.S. income inequality and the decline of the American middle class have skewed public policy toward the wishes of the rich and contributed to underinvestment in higher education.
- It’s in Our Interest: The Need to Reduce Student Loan Interest Rate: As we move forward with improving the educational system for those currently or about to enroll in higher education, it is important to not leave behind the tens of millions of Americans who still possess student debt.
- Performance-Based Funding of Higher Education: Kysie Miao reviews the history of performance-based funding in higher education at the state level.
- 10 Models for Student-Loan Repayment: This brief outlines the parameters of 10 different student-loan-repayment plans, highlights the benefits of each, and suggests issues for policymakers to take into account when considering each plan.