Our View: State of the Union hits home for college students

DKS Editors

President Barack Obama tackled a variety of hot-button issues in his State of The Union address Feb. 12, and among them was his proposition for Congress to change the Higher Education Act.

The Act provides financial assistance to college students, and with Obama’s suggestions, affordability and value would be considered when deciding which colleges receive certain kinds of financial aid.

As college students, we feel the strain of tuition costs and the anxiety over paying back our loans once we graduate, along with the stress of finding a job that will hopefully pay all our debt and support our survival. Obama recognizes that colleges and universities must play a key role in keeping tuition costs down, and students should not have to choose a less expensive school or drop out altogether because they can’t afford it.

He said his administration will release a new “College Scorecard” that parents and students can refer to in order to “get the most bang for [their] buck” when deciding on a university.

While the intention of the scorecard is for high school students to make practical decisions about where they will receive their higher education, how will it benefit those of us who are about to graduate with degrees?

Obama said, “The more education you have, the more likely you are to have a job and work your way into the middle class.” While the administration has helped ease the strain of affording higher education, loans and grants shouldn’t be a necessary crutch. Universities should keep tuition costs down, but a scorecard likely won’t be enough to challenge or change these soaring costs.

We hope that higher education institutions come down to Earth and realize, in this day and age, full-time jobs are difficult to obtain without a degree. Without the means to afford college tuition, a cycle of unemployment continues.

Obama’s plans could be helpful, but it ultimately falls on universities and colleges to make their education affordable for all students.