Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Congress Must Address College 'Cost Crisis,' GOP Says: Fewer Students Able to Take Advantage of Federal Resources, Leaders Say

Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Congress Must Address College 'Cost Crisis,' GOP Says: Fewer Students Able to Take Advantage of Federal Resources, Leaders Say

Article excerpt

Setting the stage for a potentially contentious battle on higher education's future, Republican education leaders in Congress say the nation's higher education system faces a major "cost crisis" in which escalating tuitions have left many interested students unable to afford college.

"Federal higher education programs aren't having the impact they should for parents and students," said Rep. John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, chairman of the House Education and the Workforce Committee. The federal role in higher education "needs to be aligned to confront the cost crisis head-on," said Boehner, who will lead Republican efforts in a review of higher education programs that will last through 2004.

According to Boehner and Rep. Howard "Buck" McKeon, R-Calif., chairman of the House higher education subcommittee, GOP education leaders have four priorities to combat the crisis:

* To hold colleges more accountable for cost increases;

* To remove cost and other barriers facing nontraditional students;

* To improve the quality of higher education programs and promote innovation; and

* To "realign" student-aid programs to ensure fairness.

According to Boehner, the federal government has lost sight of its original goal to make college a reality for low-income students. Federal resources today are helping many students who already have earned their degrees and entered the work force.

"We're spending more than ever on higher education at the federal level, yet fewer and fewer students are able to take advantage of that investment," McKeon added. …

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