With the average cost of a four-year public college now exceeding $17,000 a year, students are worried about how they’ll afford to pay for higher education. When it comes to college affordability, the difference between President Obama and Mitt Romney could not be clearer.
The President, who has worked to pay off his own student debts, has made affordable, quality higher education a priority. Romney, however, has a record of indifference, telling one student that he should just “shop around” for a school he can afford.
Take a look at the contrast between President Obama and Romney on student loans and support for students who are struggling to afford college.
President Obama: Doubled funding for Pell Grants, so an additional 3.7 million students would get college aid
Governor Romney: Praised the Ryan budget which would slash Pell Grants, costing the average student nearly $1,000 per year
President Obama: Created the American Opportunity Tax Credit, worth up to $10,000 for up to four years of college
Governor Romney: Wants the American Opportunity Tax Credit to expire
Governor Romney: Supports the Romney-Ryan budget—which would double the student loan rates, forcing more than 7 million students to pay up to $1,000 in costs over the life of that loan—even though he claims to want to maintain low rates
President Obama: Proposed a plan that offers federal aid to states that curb higher education costs and rewards colleges that reduce costs and can successfully offer relatively lower tuition prices
Governor Romney: Allowed average public university costs to nearly double while he was governor and cut higher education programs across the state—cuts that disproportionately affected community colleges, where tuition in 2006 was 59 percent higher than the national average