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Higher education plays role in State of the Union address

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Obama proposed a “College Scorecard” in his 2013 State of the Union address.

As expected, President Obama primarily discussed jobs and gun control in his 2013 State of the Union address, though he also made some interesting higher-ed proposals as well.

Early in his speech, Obama took a moment to address how the looming sequestration—or across-the-board cuts of about 7.5 percent to domestic programs—will devastate priorities like medical research and education, and he spoke of the need for bipartisanship to avoid the first round of cuts expected to hit on March 1.

The original sequestration was supposed to take effect Jan. 2 but was delayed two months as a result of the 11th-hour American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 that was passed Dec. 31.

Obama proposed that Congress change the Higher Education Act (HEA), which is due for revision this year, and add greater stipulations that determine which colleges receive certain types of federal aid based on their affordability and value.

“Through tax credits, grants, and better loans, we have made college more affordable for millions of students and families over the last few years,” said Obama. “But taxpayers cannot continue to subsidize the soaring cost of higher education. Colleges must do their part to keep costs down, and it’s our job to make sure they do.”

(Next page: Details about Obama’s “College Scorecard”)

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