Written by: Isaiah Smart
College is always one of the bigger concerns for voters when it comes to presidential elections.
Loan rates remain a constant worry for voters age 18 to 25. President Barack Obama even went on a college tour to spread the word about a new plan to make college more affordable.
The administration is proposing a plan that will rate colleges on a scale of access, affordability and student outcomes. As a result, the higher rated colleges will receive larger Pell Grants and better-rated loans.
Here is the issue: Although this idea sounds good on a grand scale, it could negatively impact a number of institutions. Obama plans to stop providing as much funding for schools that aren’t producing “good results.” What could happen is that after being rated, colleges and universities may turn away students.
Institutions graded on the negative end of debt levels, graduation and transfer rates and graduate earnings won’t be able to thrive the way a school such as UGA would. Who hurts the most in this scenario is, once again, the student. Students that can’t afford to go to a higher-rated school lose out on beneficial funding.
Along with the changes in subsidizing, this proposed plan also looks to make loan debt a little more reasonable by expanding Obama’s income-based repayment plan.
This plan could still work. With schools being rated on their output, it would make it even easier to weed out what is the best choice for higher education. Along with that, students can retrieve an increased amount in Pell Grants and/or loans with better rates. Of course it takes away from other colleges, but at the same time it pressures those schools into improvement.
We all want quality education, and this regulation pushes institutions to step it up and provide refined results. Although it creates problems for struggling institutions in the short-term, the long-term results aim for an overall better quality of American education.
Do you feel strongly about the Obama administration’s new financial aid plan for college students? Will the plan benefit or infring on college students? Express your opinions by sending the Spectator staff a tweet at @vsuspectator.
Since when has success and hard work in America ever yielded praise from President Obama?
By now, it’s laughable to expect consistency from the President, but a recent speech promoting his Student Aid Plan exists in direct contrast to everything he has stood for thus far. This is the first time President Obama hasn’t bashed the concept of hard work and exceptional performance without simultaneously blaming it on greedy businesses.
Basically, the core objective of the program is to rate colleges based on student performance, allocating student aid based on those results.
In theory, the plan sounds decent, aside from one glaring piece of solid, constitutional fact: The federal government should not, now or ever, have any place in education! To simply accept this “nudge” of power will prove to be toxic for our education system.
Additionally, every college and university is unique, so imposing a widespread government-mandated program would without a doubt negatively affect these institutions.
President Obama’s proposal is eerily similar to George W. Bush’s, “No Child Left Behind” legislation, which proposed a comparable idea that all teachers should be judged based on the performance of their students.
One of the several negative results of “No Child Left Behind” was that many school districts were “dumbing down” the requirements of the curriculum and the performance of their students to avoid scrutiny.
As college students, do you want to see your degree devalued as your university succumbs to reducing intellectual requirements? Do you want to graduate knowing little more than you knew your freshmen year, in turn, diminishing the prominence of a college education? With President Obama’s Student Aid plan, it won’t matter that you answered “No” to these questions because they will become reality.
Ultimately, Congress has “control of the purse,” so this would have to be passed through legislation, but that’s according to law, which President Obama doesn’t really like to follow.
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