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State of the Union speech addresses college, financial aid

State of the Union addresses tuition debt

President Obama gave his State of the Union address Tuesday night and, to the relief of many college students, brought attention to the issue of the cost of college.

“When kids do graduate, the most daunting challenge can be the cost of college,” President Obama said during the State of the Union. “At a time when Americans owe more in tuition debt than credit card debt, this Congress needs to stop the interest rates on student loans from doubling in July.

“Extend the tuition tax credit we started that saves millions of middle-class families thousands of dollars, and give more young people the chance to earn their way through college by doubling the number of work-study jobs in the next five years,” Obama continued.

Obama pointed out in the State of the Union that increasing financial aid cannot be the only answer. “We can’t just keep subsidizing skyrocketing tuition; we’ll run out of money.  States also need to do their part, by making higher education a higher priority in their budgets. And colleges and universities have to do their part by working to keep costs down.

“Recently, I spoke with a group of college presidents who’ve done just that. Some schools redesign courses to help students finish more quickly. Some use better technology. The point is, it’s possible. So let me put colleges and universities on notice: If you can’t stop tuition from going up, the funding you get from taxpayers will go down. Higher education can’t be a luxury -– it is an economic imperative that every family in America should be able to afford.”

What is your reaction to the State of the Union and President Obama’s focus on colleges and tuition? Do you think his goals are realistic? Share your thoughts with us below.

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