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Romney & Obama – The Impact On Higher Education

As a student looking for a more affordable college education, which policies should you be concerned with during the current presidential race?  In the media and on their own personal websites, both candidates have laid out very different plans for the future of higher education. Both do agree on one thing, however, rising tuition costs are out of control.

According to the Consumer Price Index, over the last 30 years, tuition has increased at four times the rate of inflation. Read on to find out how each candidate plans to slow rapid tuition increase and help you manage the cost of higher education.

For a more detailed overview, click here to check out Presidential Policies: Higher Education. This whitepaper was recently published by eCollegeFinder.org, a site that matches students with online colleges.

Democratic Policies

If elected, Barack Obama has plans to cultivate many of the policies he supported and helped put into action while in office. Obama has taken care to emphasize his policy points affecting federal loans and Pell Grants.

As of now, student loans are directed through the federal government and after 2014, new students’ loans will be forgiven after 20 years. Loans will be forgiven in only 10 years for those in public-service, such as nurses, teachers, and those in the military. The policy allows students to put only 10% of their disposable income toward repaying student loans.

Current regulations on federal loans cut private banks out of the equation, a process that is expected to save $60 billion over the next 10 years. With this money, Obama plans to increase maximum amounts awarded through Pell Grants. This school year, students can be awarded up to $5,550, depending on a number of factors.

Click here to read more about the Democratic educational platform.

Republican Policies

Mitt Romney has advocated many changes to the current state of higher education. His focus has been on the privatization of the educational market, hoping to drive down loan and tuition rates by opening up the space and increasing competition.

Romney believes that private banks should be able to reenter the federal loan process and the current loan forgiveness policy should be eliminated. He has encouraged students taking out loans to choose colleges and majors based upon the student’s individual financial situation and to make choices that will allow him or her to more easily repay loans later.

He has noted that proprietary private educational institutions bring “healthy competition to higher education” and may competitively bring tuition costs down if students consider these institutions more seriously.

Click here to read more about the Republican educational platform.

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