Parents of students from disadvantaged backgrounds are rallying against a $1 trillion tuition-for-college plan by the Obama administration.
The new proposal from the White House and Republican leaders would raise tuition for high school graduates from the current $6,000 a year to $9,000.
The current plan would raise it to $12,000 for all but the wealthiest students.
The proposal is a first for the Obama presidency, which has not been a champion of students and has proposed a range of higher education reforms, including vouchers for some private colleges and a plan to make Pell Grants free to families earning less than $125,000 per year.
The president, who made his name as a champion for education, said the new proposal would help low-income students pay for college.
But he added that the proposal would not solve all of the financial challenges facing college graduates.
“I think it’s a good first step,” he said in an interview with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos.
The administration said the plan would not cost the federal government any money, but would cost money for states.
It would be paid for by eliminating the cost of attendance.
The Obama administration is pushing to cut $3 trillion in federal spending and boost the economy by raising tax revenue.
The plan to increase tuition for low- and moderate-income college graduates is likely to be one of the first items on the president’s agenda for the November presidential election.
President Barack Obama speaks at the annual meeting of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 4, 2021.AP /J.
Scott Applewhite”The American people are not stupid, and the facts speak for themselves,” Obama said.
“These proposals are a clear-cut example of the kinds of policies that the American people reject.
We know from the experience of many other countries that higher education is a universal human right.
And when states and localities invest in our higher education system, they make it possible for our children to succeed in a world where they have the opportunities to build their own futures and build a better tomorrow.”
A majority of Americans favor raising the cost to attend college from about $9 to $11, according to a CBS News/New York Times poll released Wednesday.
About a third of Americans, or 34 percent, oppose a plan by Republicans in Congress to lower the cost.
The White House proposal would raise the cost for all students to $15,000, a rise of $3,000 from the $6 million it was proposing before the election.
The president said he wants to put more students on Pell Grants, a program that is available to lower-income families who can’t pay tuition.
But that change would require Senate approval.
“We have been calling for a $10 billion tuition-tax credit to help families pay for higher education, and now we’re going to get the chance to put $7 billion in to help make it even better,” Obama told the AP.
The administration is trying to push legislation to raise federal spending, which would allow states to raise money from their general fund through tuition increases.
The proposed legislation would allow higher education to be funded with federal aid, with some states getting $20 billion for students and $10.6 billion for states that are making higher education a priority.
Republicans are proposing to increase federal spending on higher education by $9 trillion over the next decade.
A recent study from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office found that $7.6 trillion would be needed to meet the federal budget goals.
The White House says $9.1 trillion of the new spending would be for the Pell Grant program, which is the biggest source of federal aid for higher-education students.
Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, says the White American Opportunity Act would cost the government $1.2 trillion.
The Senate Finance Committee approved legislation last month to raise tuition at public colleges and universities from $8,000 to $10,000 annually for low and moderate income students.
The measure would also allow states and counties to raise taxes on the wealthy to pay for the increase.