Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Obama Decries Rising College Costs

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Obama Decries Rising College Costs

Article excerpt

ANN ARBOR, Mich. --

President Barack Obama called today for an overhaul of the higher education financial aid system, warning that colleges and universities that fail to control spiraling tuition costs could lose federal funds.

The election year proposal was also a political appeal to young people and working families, two important voting blocs for Mr. Obama. But Congress must approve nearly all aspects of the president's plan.

Speaking to students at the University of Michigan, Mr. Obama said he was "putting colleges on notice" that the era of unabated tuition increases is over.

"You can't assume that you'll just jack up tuition every single year. If you can't stop tuition from going up, then the funding you get from taxpayers each year will go down," Mr. Obama said on the final stop of a three-day post-State of the Union trip to promote components of his economic agenda.

The president first announced the outlines of the financial aid proposal during Tuesday's State of the Union address. His plan targets what is known as "campus based" aid given to colleges to distribute in areas such as Perkins loans or in work study programs. Of the $142 billion in federal grants and loans distributed in the last school year, about $3 billion went to these programs. …

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