Obama: Link student aid to college value

President Obama proposes rating colleges on tuition, student loan debt, graduation rates and graduates’ earnings so students can shop for the best value. Eventually, Congress will be asked to reward higher-performing colleges with larger Pell Grants and lower-cost loans for their students.

College costs will continue to rise, predicts an economist.

Obama vows college cost controls

President Obama vowed to “shake up” higher education and “tackle rising costs,” in a speech on the economy that stressed college affordability for middle-class families.

A bipartisan student loan bill that will lower interest rates – at least for now — has passed the Senate and is expected to become law. The compromise ties interest rates to the government’s cost of borrowing.

Parents are spending less of their income on their children’s college costs and relying more on grants, scholarships, financial aid — and frugality — Sallie Mae reports.

No community college, no future

Without a community college, Erie, Pennsylvania keeps losing jobs and laid-off workers can’t afford to retrain. Industry is disinvesting.

Student aid fuels tuition inflation.

Free college! 24 years to pay!

Under Oregon’s Pay It Forward, Pay It Back plan, students would pay no tuition at state universities – if they agree to pay the state 3 percent of their earnings for 24 years. It’s a gamble for students and taxpayers, say critics. Students who plan careers in medicine, law, business and engineering will do much better paying the tuition up front, leaving Pay It Forward for students who don’t anticipate earning very much.

Is online learning for steerage?

Is online learning for steerage passengers, while only the elite actually meet their professors? MOOC madness is raising questions.

 App Academy‘s nine-week course in software coding is free — till students graduate and find a job. Then the for-profit takes 15 percent of their first year’s base pay,

an average of $12,000 per graduate. Graduates who aren’t hired within a year pay nothing.

Yikes!

College tuition and fees have risen by 893 percent since 1980, nearly five times the 179 percent rise in the Consumer Price Index and almost twice the increase in medical costs. Many colleges and universities plan tuition hikes for fall 2013.

Not everyone wants a cheap, no-frills degree

Some college students will choose a cheap, no-frills degree, but others will pay more for the “college experience,” which includes sports teams and student activities, writes a university provost.

But most students aren’t paying the full cost of their university education/socialization. Higher education is heavily subsidized by taxpayers.

Colleges hit tuition pushback

Nearly half of colleges and universities expect enrollment declines, according to a Moody’s survey. Tuition growth is slowing too. With years of depressed family income and “uncertain job prospects for many recent graduates,” fewer students are willing to pay high tuition at non-elite colleges.

Veterans fight for in-state tuition

Veterans are having trouble using the GI Bill to pay the full cost at state colleges and universities. New rules say vets can collect up to $17,500 a year at private colleges but only the cost of in-state tuition at public institutions.  With frequent moves required by military service, some vets can’t qualify as in-state students.

State funding cuts fuel for-profit growth

With state funding often failing to keep up with enrollment growth, many community colleges have wait-listed would-be students rather than raising tuition, concludes a U.S. Treasury report. That’s pushed students to for-profit colleges, which charge much more but provide the classes students need.