President Obama discussed a number of his proposed reforms to make college costs more affordable during his weekly address last week.
“At a moment when a higher education has never been more important, it’s also never been more expensive,” Obama said, pointing to the administration’s efforts to make college more affordable for American families. “But students and families and taxpayers cannot just keep subsidizing college costs that keep going up and up. Not when the average student now graduates more than $26,000 in debt. We cannot price the middle class out of a college education. That’s why I proposed major new reforms to make college more affordable and make it easier for folks to pay for their education.”
Obama said college ratings will soon be based on opportunity, whether the institution helps students from diverse backgrounds, and on outcomes, adding that the ratings will be used to ensure that colleges that keep their tuition lower will see higher taxpayer funding.
Additionally, Obama said he plans to “jumpstart competition” between universities over innovations that help more students graduate at less cost, in less time and with quality educations. He also said more students will become eligible for the Pay-As-You-Earn loan repayment program, which caps student loan payments at 10 percent of income.
“These reforms won’t be popular with everybody,” Obama said. “But the path we’re on now is unsustainable for our students and our economy. Higher education shouldn’t be a luxury, or a roll of the dice; it’s an economic imperative that every family in America should be able to afford.”