Scott: It has been a busy week for President Obama who kicked off his tour of the Northeast with hopes of helping future college students keep a little money in their pockets. Demetrius Pipkin has the story.
Demetrius: President Obama says you, as students, have two options.
President Obama: Either they say no to college and pay the price for not getting a degree – and that’s a price that lasts a lifetime.
Obama: You do what it takes to go to college, but then you run the risk that you won’t be able to pay it off because you’ve got so much debt.
Demetrius: And he says that that is a choice you should not accept. So he launched a bus tour yesterday through the Northeast where he spoke to students at the University of Buffalo, in New York, about a plan to make college more affordable. On average, college graduates make about $400 more per week than high school graduates.
Obama: Over the last month, I’ve been out there talking about what we need to do as a country to make sure that we have got a better bargain for the middle class.
Demetrius: He is rolling out a proposal to help parents and students select schools based on the best value by putting a rating system in place that looks at things like tuition costs, graduation rates and the amount of money made after graduating. The government will then provide more federal aid to schools with a higher rating. And students who attend higher-rated schools would get more aid and loans.
Obama: What we want to do is rate them on who’s offering the best value so students and tax payers get a better bang for their buck.
Demetrius: Over the past thirty years, the average tuition for a public four-year college has more than tripled, from about $2,500 in the early 1980s to nearly $9,000 today. The White House believes that an education reform is an important part of the economic recovery because Americans now owe more than $1 trillion in student loan debt.
The president also wants to help students with loan debt by cutting the amount they have to pay back each month. The average student loan borrower graduates with over $26,000 in debt.
But, of course, he will need Congress on board to approve this proposal before any of it can be put into place.
Obama: This has to be Washington’s highest priority. How do we make sure everybody gets a fair shake? That’s got to be our priority.
Demetrius: Demetrius Pipkin, Channel One News.