With the increasing difficulties college students and their parents are facing, President Obama has come up with a new education reform plan according to recent White House reports and detailed on whitehouse.gov that is expected to help repair a failing plan intended to lower college costs for students,which would be appreciated by students across the country.

The first part of his plan on whitehouse.gov involves a rating system that will allow parents and students to have a better chance at selecting the school that provides them with the best value. Once the rating system is created and well underway, Congress will be able to determine the amount of student aid schools receive based on their ratings. This will allow students to get more aid when attending schools of better value to them, which will make college even more affordable.

The plan is also intended to initiate programs that will focus on getting the most cutting edge technology and the best programs possible at the lowest cost possible. This would make learning much more efficient for students so that they were truly getting the best value for their money.

The final piece of the president’s new plan according to recent White House reports is to allow loan borrowers to take part in the “Pay as You Earn” plan that caps payments at 10 percent of income and to make this plan well known to borrowers around the country. Every part of this new plan, although each a bit different, has the common goal to decrease college costs and make the necessary education more affordable to citizens.

Acquiring a tertiary degree has become increasingly difficult because, even despite the increasing importance of the degree, college tuition prices have been steadily on the rise in recent years, making it near impossible for many students to graduate with the degree they need to find a career after school. Unlike the rise in tuition costs, family and student incomes have remained steady, leaving families to struggle to pay high tuition prices so their children can have the education required to secure them a solid job. According to the Project on Student Debt, two-thirds of 2011’s college graduates had an average of $26,600 in loans after graduation, yet unemployment rates for recent college grads were a deplorable high of 8.8 percent.

According to the American Student Assistance website, 60 percent of the 20 million Americans who attend college each year borrow loans of all kinds annually to help cover the rising cost of college. Parents and students alike have felt the need to take out massive loans, and they work to pay off those loans long after their kids have graduated. According to the Huffington Post, the average student loan debt of a two-person household if each earned a four year degree is a balance of $53,000, and over a lifetime, that household will lose $208,000 compared to a family with no debt. And according to the American Student Assistance site, the U.S. carries a whopping accumulation of student loan debt coming in around approximately $902 billion to $1 trillion.  For this reason, in many cases, the parents, the students or both have needed to take on multiple jobs – even while in school.

If President Obama can generate this new program without creating costs in other areas and effectively lower the cost of attending college, it will be a major accomplishment that will benefit both students and parents across the U.S. Creating the rating system will also help in easing the confusing experience student’s face in applying to college. Beyond that, it should also create a good incentive for students to choose the school that provides them with the best value, even if it isn’t their top choice, by offering them additional aid for choosing the best rated school they can. The “Pay as You Earn” plan will make it the lives of students easier, keeping us from getting buried in debt, and that way, we’ll be much more likely to be worry-free the moment we walk across the stage on graduation day – as we should be.


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