President Barack Obama proposed a new way of distributing funding among colleges, giving more to establishments focused on keeping education not only valuable, but affordable.
If Obama’s new financial aid plan is passed by congress, changes will be made among colleges across America. Instead of basing how much funding a school gets on size and other factors, it would be based upon that college’s success in keeping tuition affordable and improving value for students.
President Obama gave a speech outlining his plan Jan. 27 at the University of Michigan. He said that the universities that keep their costs down will receive more campus-based funding, such as Perkins loans, work study jobs and grants.
Obama went on to say that under this plan, universities would need to give out more information to prospective students and their families. He said that schools would need to hand out a “shopping sheet,” making it easier for people to see and understand what financial aid package is right for them. It would summarize financial plans available, giving students a clear understanding of what is right for them.
According to Obama, there is $1 billion going into campus-based funding around the U.S. He said that with this new financial plan, that number would rise to $8 billion.
However, this does not mean that taxpayers are going to have to pay more to keep cost of tuition down or to pay for the extra money going in to campus-based funding because it is paid back with interest.
Chelsea Giancola, a senior communications major, said that she supports this plan.
“I think it is a good idea, especially the shopping sheet because it would give families more information about quality of education and cost,” Giancola said. “I jumped into college without really knowing what I was getting in to and this will give students a better idea.”
Giancola also said that she believes this plan will bring a larger, more diverse group of people to NKU. “There are a lot of people that can’t afford college right now. With this plan, I think that more people would be able to go. Everyone should get an opportunity to educate themselves.”
Joanna Schoborg, a sophomore Human Resources major, feels differently.
“I believe that increasing loan money from $1 billion to $8 billion is not a good idea at all. Even though the taxpayers would not be affected, it would put students in an even larger hole of debt,” Schoborg said.
Schoborg said that since she started college almost 9 years ago, tuition has more than doubled. She said that instead of creating more money for students to borrow, people should look at why tuition and fees are so expensive in the first place. She wants tuition to go down, not to borrow more money.
According to an article by the New York Times, some education experts are worried about tying aid to cost. They believe that this could lead to lower-quality education and larger class sizes. They also worry that if these public institutions lose some support on a state level and need to raise tuition, they would also lose funding from the federal government.