Students: here’s one group that’s looking out for you, The Campaign for College Affordability. This group recently sent Congress and the Obama administration a letter urging them to tackle the college affordability crisis as a part of the stimulus package. They point out that approximately 400,000 students are priced out of the higher education system in the United States every year, and that at this rate, the U.S. workforce will be short $16 million degree holders by 2025.
Here’s what the Campaign for College Affordability proposes:
- An increase of the Pell Grant maximum by at least $500 to $5200 (which Obama has proposed as well in his stimulus package proposal), and a subsequent increase of the maximum to $7200 for the following year.
- A $3.5 billion emergency aid package for lower and middle income students who have exhausted all other forms of financial aid and will be forced out of school without help.
- A $35 billion infusion of cash to campuses across the country to be used for programs that directly improve the quality of education for students — on the condition that these schools limit tuition increases.
- $15 billion grants to states on the condition that they disperse this money “to those institutions committing to holding down tuition, increasing student success, lifting enrollment caps imposed in response to state budget cuts, and a stable instructional workforce.”
- Lowering maximum student loan repayment amounts for the first five years after graduation.f
- Expanding work study programs.
- Increasing the length of the student loan grace period.
- Increase funding to community colleges.
- Lower the interest rate on PLUS loans, and possibly Stafford loans as well.
- Promote better access and available of the Parent PLUS loan and the Direct Loan program.
Sounds good to me. What do you think?