Solutions to Expensive College Costs?

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Submitted: November 29, 2008

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Submitted: November 29, 2008

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Solutions to Expensive College Costs?

As the nation’s economy plunges further down, cost of living, and other expenses goes up; thus causing skyrocketing financial problems, added debts, loss of livelihood and withdrawal from universities where cost for education are outrageously high. As stated in the article from The Associated Press, entitled “Can Candidates Help Cut College Costs?” voters are eager to know what strategies both candidates would do to help solve the problem of skyrocketing college costs, now that a college degree is most vital in order to find a decent job. Various financial aids are available to the masses, but it is not synchronized with the soaring price of college. Anybody should be able to afford college education was the akin statement offered by both candidates in their campaign. The two candidates also mutually agreed that the procedure of acquiring financial aid is awfully intricate, when it should be simple.

Several surveys stated that one in every four parents wants the federal government to limit college costs?or force schools to spend their revenue to lower prices?an idea that is shunned by many colleges; however, neither candidate plots such proposal. Currently, the White House provides $86 billion each year on grants, loans and tax benefits in order to support students. Either candidate shares a similar proposal; however, each would deal with the problem in a different manner. Barack Obama’s plan is more in depth and rather costly, with a view that the government should do more to aid students pay of college education. As John McCain’s proposals are more generalized, and contain fewer details; and they are more aimed at improving the aid system instead of expanding it. Michael Dannenberg, chief personnel in the New America Foundation, drew the following statements from each candidate’s campaign proposals: Obama’s plans perceive the dilemma of high college expenses more seriously than McCain’s proposals. He also stated that the message Obama’s campaign is sending is enough financial aid will be given to students to help with college costs, and in return, students have to repay by community service. While McCain’s proposals connoted that, families and students are on their own, when it comes to the increasing tuitions.

The most extensive proposal by either candidate is Obama’s appeal to provide most students with $4,000 tax credits annually, to be paid back by 100 hours of community service. The new student-aid program will not just replace the HOPE and Lifetime Learning tax credits, which grants up to $2,000 annually, but also make two main improvements. First, it will be completely refundable--beneficial for low-income families who doesn’t pay enough taxes—so full $4,000 tax credits could still be obtained; and lastly, aid would be based on preceding year’s tax data, so families doesn’t have to complete time-consuming federal aid forms and wait for a long time just to find out how much they would be granted. McCain though, doesn’t have any innovative proposals to help with college costs. In addition, the most important federal aid program, Pell Grants, is also undergoing some funding increases in Obama’s proposal. Pell Grants are broadly considered the most effective aid programs as it is directed at the neediest, and does not have to be repaid. 

Each candidate has a major idealistic dissimilarity on how the $60 billion public and private student-aid money must be operated. Now, the process is governed by two parallel methods; first, students can obtain a student-aid directly from the government; and lastly, loans can be derived from banks and other private lenders, sponsored by the government. While McCain supports the current system of government and private loans, Obama suggests that subsidized banks and companies must be effaced and the entire system should be moved to direct government loans. He also wants to eradicate the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form, which contains more than 100 questions.

In the conclusion, both candidates presented innovative proposals to solve the progressively rising college costs. From $4,000 student aid in exchange for community service, Pell Grants that doesn’t need to be refunded by families, to federal student loan program system alternation, hopefully, may solve the burden of expensive college prices. As appealing as some of the proposals sound, we have to keep in mind that introduction of new methods could also increase the current high taxes, if not scarcely impose any change, or make matters worse. 
 
 
 
 "Can candidates help cut college costs?" MSNBC.com. 01 Oct 2008. The Associated Press. 06 Oct 2008 <http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26975783/>.


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