In front of 4,000 students of the University of Michigan on Friday, President Barack Obama outlined a plan to reduce the costs of higher education - a proposal that could change future Northwestern students’ financial burden.
His plan, most of which would need Congressional approval, seeks to increase the amount of federal grant money and tie it directly to tuition policies. Obama also aims to make colleges responsible for checking rising tuition costs.
“You can’t assume you’ll just jack up tuition every single year,” Obama said in the speech. “We should push colleges to do better; we should hold them accountable if they down.”
NU economics professor Burton Weisbrod told Inside Higher Ed that although tuition may stay the same or decrease if mandated by the government, he predicts universities will increase student fees that were previously considered part of tuition.
“That begins a kind of cat-and-mouse game, which is the sort of thing that goes on in the whole regulatory environment all the time when organizations look for some way around regulatory constraint,” Weisbrod said in the article. “It’s how to succeed without really workplace.”
Medill freshman J.P. Bowgen said two of his best friends at NU frequently complain about their financial aid.
“It’s a bit of a contradiction: We’re lucky we’re in a private school because we can get so much financial aid compared to some at public schools,” he said.
NU caps federal need-based loans at $20,000. The average cumulative undergraduate debt at a four-year public institution is $23,146, according to finaid.org.
Officials said colleges would be rewarded by offering relatively lower tuition prices, providing value and serving low-income students.
Duncan said the country’s economy centers on providing students with high-quality, affordable educational opportunities.
“We have to educate our way to a better economy,” Duncan said. “We all have to work