Overview: Presidential Candidates’ Views On Higher Education

When the election was shortly approaching, both Romney and Obama began cracking down so to ensure they would receive the majority of the vote by targeting many different groups – different races and ethnicities, classes, the elderly, and most importantly, the youth of America. Today, college graduates are facing over $1 trillion in outstanding college loans. In the recent months leading up to the election, both Obama and Romney had made various promises on many different issues, including policy on education. From educational reform issues like problems affecting grade schools, to higher education, like skyrocketing tuition, Barack Obama and Mitt Romney held some different views on how to fix some of these issues. Students who have graduated years ago are are facing extreme debt due to student loans and are having issues stopping collection calls, affording a home and family, and even problems as mundane as obtaining a credit card.

Romney went up against Obama with his views different on all three categories: student loans, tuition inflation, and for-profit colleges. However, Obama pulled through with his views which included lower student loan interest rates through government, rewards for colleges who lower the cost of tuition, and his requirements for for-profit colleges to qualify for federal aid.

Student Loans

Much of the student debt issue is based on student loan interest rates. When it comes to student loans, Obama would ideally like to see lower student loan interest rates through government. Romney, however, supported private bank lending when it comes to student loans, which would likely have resulted in higher interest rates. Romney generally supported private options over public options while Obama supports the opposite.

Tuition Inflation

Both candidates agreed that tuition inflation is a large problem in America and they both had similar views on making college more affordable for students today. Both Romney and Obama proposed rewards for colleges who lower the cost of tuition while those who increase college tuition are penalized. The candidates had similar programs in mind to help students and their families make well-informed decisions when applying for student loans and paying for college. Many students face trouble today stopping collection calls, affording a home and family, and even getting approved for a credit card due to a staggering amount of student loans from tuition inflation.

For-Profit Colleges

Unlike their shared views regarding tuition inflation, Romney and Obama have very different views on for-profit colleges. Obama requires for-profit institutions to meet certain requirements to qualify for federal aid in order to help students gain the necessary skills to be successful in the job market. Romney, on the other hand, supported for-profit colleges and believed that for-profit institutions help lower college costs by forcing schools to compete with one another.

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