We’ll be headed to Harrisburg tomorrow for the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Pennsylvania (AICUP) Student Aid Advocacy Day. Please follow our live posts on Twitter (@CSC_Cubed)! We’re asking for more aid for middle income students – here’s our advocacy letter:
John Carey, the Chancellor of the Ohio Department of Higher Education, has written a guest column outlining the steps that the Buckeye State has taken to make college more affordable.
Ohio has increased spending on higher education by 8.5% and frozen tuition and fees at state supported schools for two years. Additional money has been appropriated to help underprivileged and under-represented students pay for tuition at community and four year colleges.
One of the biggest sources of increased debt for college students is not graduating on time. Ohio has tried to address this by devoting resources to helping students get college credit in high school and to creating guidelines for more skilled counselors to keep students on track for a four year graduation once they are in college.
For more details on the Ohio plan please see the article.
The Federal government has released new data on American colleges in an effort to help students choose where they want to study. According to Inside Higher Education
These new data show publicly, for the first time, the share of a college’s former students who make some progress in paying down their federal loans within the first three years after leaving college. And they provide the first comprehensive look at how much students who receive federal loans and Pell Grants end up earning after they leave a specific college, both in the short term and long term.
The College Scorecard is available at https://collegescorecard.ed.gov/
Recently President Obama announced a plan to end the tax breaks associated with popular 529 college savings plans. According to the New York Times
The idea was to end one tax break…and plow that billion-dollar savings over 10 years into a far larger expansion of another tuition tax credit aimed more squarely at the middle class.
However, President Obama came under fire from House Speaker John Boehner, former Speaker Pelosi, states and other politicians for ending what is perceived as a middle class tax break.
The opposition has caused President Obama to drop the idea. According to a White House spokesperson
“Given it has become such a distraction, we’re not going to ask Congress to pass the 529 provision so that they can instead focus on delivering a larger package of education tax relief that has bipartisan support, as well as the president’s broader package of tax relief for child care and working families”
Obama Relents on Proposal to End ‘529’ College Savings Plans
Click on the link below to see our plan for middle income debt reduction in New Jersey:
New Jersey – Letter and Policy Paper for Governor Christie
Steve Esack of the Allentown Morning Call reports that House Republicans in the Pennsylvania legislature are proposing a “bare-bones $28.6 billion ‘budget scenario'” for 2014-15. The plan is a response to a projected $1.3 billion budget shortfall faced by the Commonwealth by the end of the next budget cycle.
Among other things the House GOP proposal includes
Five percent cuts in all state departments — with the exception of reductions to basic education, special education, preschools, state-funded universities and the state’s college loan program.
According to Budget Secretary Charles Zogby, Governor Corbett
does not support a bare-bones budget that removes proposals he made in February to spend $400 million more for public education, create a $25 million college scholarship for middle class students and $5.4 million more to reduce the waiting list for disabled adults to find community-based homes.
by Mike Acciavatti
This week I read a very interesting article which addressed the idea of college cost. It gave a perspective of not just the normal, run of the mill ideas on how to make college more affordable for your family. One such point was that the wealth gap in this country “isn’t just the broad chasm that separates the rich and poor, but the gap between the rich and everyone else.”
The article also states that the decreasing middle class is pushing more people lower in class than up. This is seen as a critical problem because a person who spends most of their “bread winning” years paying off a previous debt instead of spurring the economy with big purchases such as a house, car etc… is actually detrimental to the society as whole. The article states that making up a previous debt, though better than defaulting, is not necessarily a great thing for the economy of a country.
One potential solution is a work early program which a number of colleges have already instituted. The program creates a means of graduating high school with a fast track into college, whether that is by actual credits earned or at least a full game plan and a 4 year graduation strategy. In return for these things the students themselves must get good grades, have a strong work ethic, and be willing to work at least part time in college. Overall the problem addressed is the decades a person graduating from college spends simply paying off debt and not contributing. If we stop this we can stop the unending cycle of debilitating college debt.