White House Reveals Obama's College Proposals

11:30 AM, Aug 22, 2013   |    comments
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BUFFALO, N.Y. - The White House has released a draft of President Obama's higher education proposals that he's set to announce today in Buffalo.

His plan calls for the government to start rating colleges before the 2015 school year on several measures: tuition, graduation rates, debt and earnings of graduates, and the percentage of lower-income students who attend.

If Congress approves it, colleges would be compared by those ratings, which would then partly determine federal aid to students at those colleges.

The Obama administration would like to tie federal aid to those ratings starting in 2018 so students at highly-rated colleges might get larger federal grants and more affordable loans.

The President also wants one billion dollars for a "Race to the Top" program, like the one he championed for grade schools. He wants states to fund their public schools based on performance, rather than just enrollment or seat time.

Three states- Ohio, Tennessee and Indiana- have made moves in this direction, but it's not clear what level support this would have in a Congress that's bitterly divided over just about everything.

Other proposals in the draft include stretching out Pell Grant money over the semester instead of giving it in a lump sum, to make sure those getting the aid keep working toward a degree. The program has some issues right now with students who keep getting aid without any progress.

And he also wants to expand the pay-as-you-earn program so that student borrowers could cap their payments at 10 percent of their discretionary monthly income. The education department would offer more outreach to let students know how to enroll in the program.

President Obama will fully explain the plan at his speech at 11:15a at U.B. today.  You can watch it LIVE on wgrz.com

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