Obama pushes the question: What are students, taxpayers getting for their college dollars?

During his State of the Union address, Obama put higher education on notice: “If you can’t stop tuition from going up, the funding you get from taxpayers will go down,” he said. “Higher education can’t be a luxury— it’s an economic imperative that every family in America should be able to afford.”

He wants to slightly reduce federal aid for schools that don’t control tuition costs and shift it to those that do. He also has proposed an $8 billion program to train community college students for high-growth industries that would provide financial incentives to programs that ensured their trainees find work…

Obama’s statement to Congress jolted the higher education establishment, which believes that college isn’t just to create foot soldiers for industry and that the use of measured outcomes would hurt the humanities, meaning fewer students will turn to Shakespeare and instead study engineering, said Anthony Carnevale, director of the Center on Education and the Workforce at Georgetown University. The community has already been reeling over an earlier administration decision to require career college programs — many of which are at for-profit institutions — to better prepare students for “gainful employment” or risk losing federal aid.

The manner of cost-control in the administration’s halting efforts to cut the military budget seems quite different than the above – the reform plan revolves around “limit[ing] pay raises for troops [and] increas[ing] health insurance fees for military retirees.” Perhaps the overt differences conceal an underlying logic.

Obama pushes the question: What are students, taxpayers getting for their college dollars? – Washington Post

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