Obama on Education: “The economic issue of our time”

(Author's Note: This is an excerpt of my weekly column in theloop21.com)

Obama recently touched down at the University of Texas to talk about the strong correlation between higher education and the economy. He proclaimed ““Education is an economic issue. Education is the economic issue of our time,” as he proceeded to lay out a four part plan that his administration has already begun to implement, three of which I will cover here.

(1) Making college more affordable

Tripling the value of education tax credits; increasing the value of Pell Grants and indexing them to the inflation rate; and better loan repayment terms that will allow more flexibility.

I am a fan of tax credits because they allow middle class families to catch a break as they invest in their children’s education. They should not be penalized for making this investment; conversely, they should be rewarded by receiving assistance. Better repayment terms also are a good thing. They will allow students themselves to understand that education is a long term investment and will require self-sacrifice -- now and in the future -- but won’t require them to take a vow of poverty to go with it. Indexing Pell Grants to the rate of inflation sounds like a good idea as well.

However there have been many arguments made in the past (some of which even persuasively) that link higher education costs to -- ironically -- higher federal loan and grant limits...

Read the full article here: http://theloop21.com/money/obama-education-the-economic-issue-our-time

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