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Statement of U.S. PIRG Higher Education Associate Ethan Senack on the President’s speech on higher education:
“Earlier today, the President unveiled a new plan to “shake up” the American higher education system with the goal of lowering costs and increasing access to college.
“With student debt reaching an all-time high, young people are trapped between needing a college degree and burying themselves in debt to earn it.
“Students are the future of this country and it is critical that we set them up for success. Today, the president made a serious commitment to increasing access to higher education, and that is a major step in the right direction.
“We support President Obama’s call for the Department of Education to ramp up their education and outreach efforts to students struggling with debt post-graduation, as well as the extension of income-based repayment options to all students. High student debt harms the economy, making it harder for graduates to start a family, buy a house, or launch a business.
“Other proposals in the speech could give students and their parents more options and better information. Technology is opening new doors, allowing students the option of using novel, breakthrough methods of education that could make a quality education more affordable. At the same time, increasing access to user-friendly data regarding graduation rates and average debt gives families the opportunity to get the most bang for their buck.
“We applaud the President for setting out an ambitious agenda for higher education reform – students need all of our leaders to commit to lowering costs and increasing access to higher education.”
U.S. PIRG, the federation of state Public Interest Research Groups, is a consumer group that stands up to powerful interests whenever they threaten our health and safety, our financial security, or our right to fully participate in our democratic society.
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