New York students leave college with an average of nearly $26,000 in loans, President Obama is set to discuss Thursday in upstate New York.
The president is starting a two-day bus trip through upstate New York on Thursday, heading to Buffalo this morning and Syracuse at about 6 p.m.
Obama’s focus will be on limiting college costs and enact tougher oversight of colleges’ performance and expenses. It’s the longest trip Obama has taken in New York since he took office in 2009, and he’s expected to make some impromptu stops along the way, perhaps in Rochester and Auburn, home to the Harriet Tubman House.
But the focus will be soaring college costs.
“Today, President Obama outlined an ambitious new agenda to combat rising college costs and make college affordable for American families,” the White House said in a fact sheet Thursday.
“His plan will measure college performance through a new ratings system so students and families have the information to select schools that provide the best value.”
The Obama administration said about 1.4 million undergraduate students are enrolled in colleges across New York. The tuition averaged $20,443 in New York.
The White House cited statistics from the College Board that the average tuition at a public four-year college has increased by more than 250 percent over the past three decades in the U.S. During the same period, incomes for typical families grew by only 16 percent.
At public colleges, as state funding dipped, tuition has almost doubled as a share of public college revenues over the past 25 years—from 25 percent to 47 percent, the White House said.
Obama announced he will request $1 billion in Race to the Top funding to enact higher-education reforms. The president said he will propose legislation to give colleges a bonus based upon the amount of tuition assistance they provide.