Candidates: Where I stand on higher education
Here’s a look at the education platforms of Obama, Romney—in their own words
When voters go to the polls on Nov. 6, they’ll choose from among presidential candidates who have very different views on the major issues affecting America, including education.
With the election rapidly approaching, we’ve pulled together a summary of what each of the two major party candidates—President Barack Obama for the Democratic party, and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney for the Republican party—have said about their plans for higher education.
(To read about their plans, click on the headlines for each article.)
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Earning a postsecondary degree or credential is no longer just a pathway to opportunity for a talented few; rather, it is a prerequisite for the growing jobs of the new economy. But we suffer from a college attainment gap, as high school graduates from the wealthiest families in our nation are almost certain to continue on to higher education, while just over half of our high school graduates in the poorest quarter of families attend college. And while more than half of college students graduate within six years, the completion rate for low-income students is around 25 percent. To reverse these trends, my administration has worked to make college more accessible, affordable, and attainable for all American families…
For years we have focused on increasing access to college—an important goal, to be sure. But somehow success in college has been lost in the shuffle of priorities. Despite spending more than twice as much per student as other developed countries, our degree attainment rate lags behind. Meanwhile, students and their families face skyrocketing prices for higher education and, partly as a result, ever heavier debt burdens. The federal government has attempted to step in with even more funding—for instance, during the period that the cost of tuition increased 439 percent, federal spending on Pell Grants increased 475 percent—yet this has only fed the growth in costs…