President Obama’s Speech on Higher Education

President Barack Obama spoke about higher education at the University of Michigan last Friday, focusing on keeping higher education affordable. A full transcript of his remarks can be found here.

The president’s plan would tie federal campus financial aid to tuition increases.¬†Universities¬†that cannot keep tuition increases down would see a reduction in their federally-funded campus-based aid programs (work study, Perkins loans, and Supplemental Education Opportunity Grants for low-income students). This type of aid accounts for about $3 billion, less than 2 percent of the $142 billion awarded to higher education annually.

The Obama plan would also create a $1 billion higher education Race to the Top program, increase Perkins loans from $1 billion to $8 billion, and award $55 million in a “first in the world” efficiency competition. The president said that he would like colleges and universities to offer more accurate information about net cost, graduation rates, and post-graduate employment opportunities to students and their families.

The proposed changes require Congressional approval.