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Mass. Education Leaders Debate President Obama’s College Funding Proposal

President Obama/AP photo by Keith Srakocic
President Barack Obama presented his proposal to make college more affordable at the University at Buffalo on Thursday, Aug. 22.


The cost of college tuition and student debt continues to rise.

So President Obama is proposing a way to try to lower those expenses and give students more information about the long-term value of different colleges and universities — information such as how much debt graduates have, the average salary graduates make, and what percentage of students graduate within six years.

The president’s plan would rank schools according to these and other data. It would then attempt to tie federal student aid to those rankings.

Could President Obama’s proposal successfully push colleges and universities to reduce costs by increasing transparency? Or could it result in schools gaming the numbers and putting less emphasis on fields of study that may not lead to high-paying jobs?

  • Jon Marcus, freelance education writer and contributing editor at the Hechinger Report
  • Jackie Jenkins-Scott, President of Wheelock College
  • Marty Meehan, Chancellor of the University of Massachusetts Lowell