Happy Thursday everyone!!!!
I am posting this article from Inside Higher Education’s website about
Obama’s views on college. This should give us some idea of what could be up and
coming with College costs, rules, and regulation changes.
Pay close attention to what Obama says about the college textbook scams. If
you are or have a student in college, I suggest, looking into used
textbooks and online resources for textbooks (dont just go to the schools
bookstore as your only resort!!).
Reducing your textbook costs could save you thousands of dollars per
Obama on Higher Ed
Many higher education leaders had hoped to see
college issues, or education generally, emerge as a major issue in the 2008
race. That never quite happened. And with the war in Iraq and the collapse of
the economy, that may not be surprising. But over the course of two years
leading up to his election, Sen. Barack Obama has given many policy addresses
and issued many proposals about education that may guide his work in office – at
least after he deals with the economy, Iraq and Afghanistan. Here are some of
Loan programs: Obama
responded to a scandal last spring about student loan programs by proposing a
series of reforms.
In a May 2007 proposal, he
called for eliminating subsidies to lenders and pushing all borrowing into the
direct lending program. He said that eliminating subsidies would allow for a
significant boost in support for Pell Grants. At around the same time Obama made
his proposal, similar ideas were unveiled by Hillary Clinton and John Edwards,
who were at that time emerging as top competitors in the race for the Democratic
nomination. In part because all of the leading candidates were more sympathetic
to direct lending than to the guaranteed loan program, and the Republicans at
the time were largely ignoring higher education issues, there was little
sustained debate about these proposals.
Access to higher education: While Obama started with a focus on loan programs, he went on to
issue more detailed proposals on college access, saying repeatedly that he
worried about the challenges families faced paying for college. Included in his
college access plans:
- A fully refundable tax credit to cover the first
$4,000 in college costs – enough for two years of community college tuition in
most cases – for everyone. The only requirement would be 100 hours of public
service a year; this could be performed in the summer or between semesters.
- Simplification of federal aid applications.
(There has been some progress on this issue, which attracts bipartisan
support, since Obama spoke on it and prior to the election.)
- A pledge to keep Pell Grant maximums rising at
the level of inflation or higher if possible.
Obama has proposed a new grant program that would provide funds to community
colleges to conduct more thorough analysis of the types of skills and technical
education that are in high demand from students and local businesses; to create
new associate of arts degree programs that cater to emerging careers; and to
reward institutions that graduate more students and also increase their numbers
of transfer students to four-year institutions.
Science and technology:
During the campaign, the president-elect repeatedly linked investments in
science and technology to improvements in the economy, and he made
a number of specific proposals. Obama has
called for expanded financing of federal research programs, with special efforts
for those academic scientists starting their careers; the creation of new
programs to improve math and science education and to attract more students to
them – with special efforts to recruit minority and female students to fields
where they have been underrepresented; and special efforts to promote research
and education related to climate change and health care. Obama has backed stem
cell research and opposed Bush administration limits on such funds. Further, he
has pledged to “restore the basic principle that government decisions should be
based on the best-available, scientifically valid evidence and not on the
ideological predispositions of agency officials or political appointees.” A more
philosophical outline of Obama’s views on the link between education, science
and economic competitiveness may be found in
his speech in June at Kettering
Obama has repeatedly said that affirmative action should not be eliminated, but
he has suggested a combination of class and race as factors. In a 2007 interview
with ABC, asked if his daughters will deserve affirmative action when they apply
to college, he said that they “should probably be treated by any admissions
officer as folks who are pretty advantaged.” Further, in Obama’s
Philadelphia speech on race,
he noted with sympathy the frustrations of some while people “when they hear
that an African American is getting an advantage in landing a good job or a spot
in a good college because of an injustice that they themselves never committed.”
But in that speech, as in others, Obama has also repeatedly stressed that the
economic and educational gaps between some minority individuals and others are
real and need attention.
While presidential candidates prepare policies on
issues such as education and research, they also end up speaking on other higher
education issues when they are asked surprise questions on the campaign trail or
in debates, or when they happen to be campaigning in an area that is focused on
a particular issue. In these situations, Obama has:
- Called for colleges to lift bans on Reserve Officers
Training Corps programs.
Obama opposes the military’s
discriminatory policies against gay people – the source of much campus
opposition to ROTC. But in an appearance at Columbia University in September,
he said that “the notion that young people here at Columbia or anywhere, in
any university, aren’t offered the choice, the option of participating in
military service, I think is a mistake.”
- Criticized the cost of college
textbooks and professors who assign their own books.
appearance in Texas, he said: “Books are a big scam…. I taught law at the
University of Chicago for 10 years, and one of the biggest scams is law
professors write their own text books and then assign it to their students.
They make a mint. It’s a huge racket.”
- Backed the right to attend community college for
those without legal status to be in the United States.
spoke on this issue in North Carolina, where this has been the subject of much
debate. In an interview, he said: “For us to deny them access to community
college, even though they’ve never lived in Mexico, at least as far as they
can tell … is to deny that this is how we’ve always built this country up.”
Hope you all have an amazing rest of the week and a great weekend!!!!