On January 27, President Obama spoke to students about rising tuition in an address given at the University of Michigan.
“We are putting colleges on notice,” Obama said. Speaking directly to university administrators, he continued, “You can’t assume that you’ll just jack up tuition every single year. If you can’t stop tuition from going up, then the funding you get from taxpayers each year will go down.”
Over the past few years, taxpayers have watched as tuitions for universities around the United States have risen higher and higher each year. This past fall, the average in-state tuition had risen 8.3 percent, according to College Board’s most recent reports. President Obama spoke out against this inflation, promising taxpayers relief in the future.
Obama acknowledges that higher education is imperative for young people today. However, the costs (reaching over $17,000 a year, according to College Board) will present a problem for the upcoming generations. Although Obama is only targeting a small portion of the gigantic financial aid battle, these changes are intended to spark a much larger movement toward lowering the price of education.
Many universities offer financial aid awards, sometimes up to the full amount of tuition, based on good grades and other merits. Unfortunately, this is not always consistent. Most students have some percentage of their tuition docked.
However, because of the recent spike in costs, this aid still usually leaves students with significant charges.
In addition to putting a stop to the rising costs of tuition, President Obama has begun implementing new policies for student loans.
These policies will reduce payments on student loans from 15 percent to 10 percent this year alone. Also, all remaining student debt will be forgiven after 20 years, as opposed to 25 years. These major changes, along with many others, will soon be presented to Congress. Obama plans to enact the bills before the coming 2012 election.
Sources: NPR, US News, Yahoo News