Obama To Lay Out “Aggressive Strategy” Toward College Affordability In Coming Months

By Katy Hopkins, Communications Staff 

Making higher education affordable is critical to a strong middle class, President Barack Obama said in an economic speech Wednesday—and he says he has plans to work toward that goal.

Addressing a crowd at Knox College in Illinois, Obama said the economy has rebounded from the recession but work must continue to strengthen the middle class. Available jobs and reasonably-priced higher education, healthcare, and homes are key pieces of the puzzle, he said. 

“It is critical that we make sure that college is affordable for every single American who is willing to work for it,” Obama said.

Loans and grants can’t keep pace with rising college costs, the president noted. Families and taxpayers cannot continue to foot increasingly large bills either, and “have got to get more out of what we pay for,” he said. 

The administration has taken steps to relieve some of the financial burden, Obama said, citing capped student loan payments for responsible borrowers and a continued effort to lower interest rates on subsidized Stafford loans. (The latter drew an especially loud cheer from the crowd.) And some institutions are retooling their approach to college education, offering accelerated paths to degrees and utilizing a blend of traditional and online learning, he added. 

But work remains to be done—and the president plans to get started soon, he said.

“In the coming months, I will lay out an aggressive strategy to shake up the system, tackle rising costs, and improve value for middle-class students and their families,” Obama said.

Wednesday’s speech was the first of several the president is slated to give on the economy this summer. Stay tuned to NASFAA's Today’s News for continued coverage. 

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