Obama’s New Financial Aid Plan: Much Ado About Nothing?

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During the State of the Union address, President Obama mentioned a new proposal aimed at making college more affordable. By making the connection between the amount of federal financial aid and how affordable tuition
is, the government will allow students from all walks of life to be able to attend school. The new plan has sparked various questions: What
would this plan actually look like? How does the administration plan to attain a consensus?

Well, the devil’s in the details. The plan basically has several parts:

  • Reforming financial aid, which includes restraining tuition growth (note: “cost has more than doubled since 2000”) and enrolling a higher number of Pell Grant eligible students
  • Creating a college scorecard listing information on cost and student loan rates
  • Requiring bottom line financial aid packages that can be compared in an apples to apples fashion
  • Mandating colleges provide a realistic job earnings/student loan debt scenario

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