Hmm: Obama unveils new plan for college-rating system and federal aid

posted at 7:31 pm on August 22, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

Yeesh. Another day, another way in which President Obama endeavoring to institute policies that nip at the heels of runaway problems without actually fixing said problems.

Here’s the plan in full, and and as summarized by WaPo:

President Obama declared a crisis in the soaring cost of higher education here Thursday and unveiled a broad new plan that aims to make college education more affordable by tying federal financial aid to new college ratings.

The plan, which Obama rolled out as he opened a two-day campaign-style bus tour of college campuses, would create a rating system beginning in 2015 to evaluate colleges on tuition, the percentage of low-income students, graduation rates and debt of graduates.

Eventually, as an incentive for schools to make improvements in these areas, federal financial aid would be awarded based on those ratings. Obama said he could create the ratings system through executive action, but the plan to reallocate federal aid based on the ratings would require congressional approval.

The ever-rising rates of tuition inflation and student debt are certainly massive problems for the health and structure of our economy, but one of the largest factors that has contributed to them is the cheap and easy availability of federally subsidized students loans that have shaped the decision-making of young people over other options and allowed colleges to keep hiking their prices. It certainly doesn’t sound like the worst thing his administration has ever come up with, but I’m not convinced that the proposal is going to do much to get at the underlying problem and I’m pretty sure there could be some pretty nasty unintended consequences — the sort of which top-down government interference is wont to beget. Like the student-loan crisis in the first place. I’m no education expert, though — see NRO, Marginal Revolution, and ViaMeadia for some good thoughts.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

It’s not enough to rate colleges… we need to rate majors as well.

Students pursuing productive majors, like STEM, should be eligible for more aid than those in more parasitic fields like journalism or victims’ studies.

malclave on August 22, 2013 at 7:44 PM

Off topic, but very significant.

Schadenfreude on August 22, 2013 at 7:45 PM

Obama: doing for colleges what he did for Detroit …

ShainS on August 22, 2013 at 7:46 PM

Hmm: Obama unveils new plan for college-rating system

The “poor AND stupid ratio”.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on August 22, 2013 at 7:47 PM

It will be interesting to see how all those colleges and universities react to their darling’s proposal. The line for exemptions starts over there —>

Christien on August 22, 2013 at 7:50 PM

This is his lame attempt to get people to like his stupid ass.

TX-96 on August 22, 2013 at 7:50 PM

Christian Universities will be discriminated against.

txhsmom on August 22, 2013 at 7:51 PM

Nuthin’ but another redistribution scheme. Whitey need not apply.

M240H on August 22, 2013 at 7:53 PM

Pay-to-play, higher ed edition.

Christien on August 22, 2013 at 7:56 PM

Obama’s as useless a t(ts on a boar.

So colleges that graduate everybody will get more money? Sounds like an ivy league redistribution scheme. State colleges graduate no where near the rate the ivy league (send your rich but not so smart children here) schools.

aniptofar on August 22, 2013 at 7:56 PM

So we are suppose to let a guy who graduated in political science who won’t show his grades and somehow got into harvard law and won’t show his grades rate colleges???? Really?

aniptofar on August 22, 2013 at 7:57 PM

Another day, another murder by black thugs. This time a WW2 vet is the victim. Headline-Drudge.

txhsmom on August 22, 2013 at 7:58 PM

Another day, another murder by black thugs. This time a WW2 vet is the victim. Headline-Drudge.

txhsmom on August 22, 2013 at 7:58 PM

Hotair will have a post about it … in three weeks. Too fresh, now.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on August 22, 2013 at 8:00 PM

Funny, but I remember working to pay my college tuition and making the effort to win scholarship awards. While I had to leave school before getting my degree, I left it with no debt over my head.

Parents really should be teaching their kids they don’t need Obama and the rest of the government to start making a life for themselves.

Liam on August 22, 2013 at 8:01 PM

“Here’s my plan, you guys make it work somehow, I have a tee time.”

-Bark

Bishop on August 22, 2013 at 8:03 PM

Another day, another murder by black thugs. This time a WW2 vet is the victim. Headline-Drudge.

txhsmom on August 22, 2013 at 7:58 PM

I’m sure it’s neo-confederate to describe the suspects as being black even though they are.

To be fair, I think a few old white grannies in wheelchairs need to be hauled in for questioning, just to prove no one is being profiled.

Liam on August 22, 2013 at 8:03 PM

He just needs something to campaign for…he cannot lead.

d1carter on August 22, 2013 at 8:03 PM

Off topic, but very significant.

Schadenfreude on August 22, 2013 at 7:45 PM

Didn’t see your link before I posted.

txhsmom on August 22, 2013 at 8:05 PM

Hmm: Obama unveils new plan for college-rating system and federal aid

And this was held in a multi-million dollar sports facility on a college campus…hmmmmm…hmmmmmmm.

Dr. ZhivBlago on August 22, 2013 at 8:07 PM

Maybe Obama should go back to school as he knows so little about the constitution. The federal government is basically forbidden to be involved with education.

An article from Cato says:

…the U.S. Constitution grants no authority over education to the federal government. Education is not mentioned in the Constitution of the United States, and for good reason. The Founders wanted most aspects of life managed by those who were closest to them, either by state or local government or by families, businesses, and other elements of civil society. Certainly, they saw no role for the federal government in education.

Once upon a time, not so very many years ago, Congress understood that. The History of the Formation of the Union under the Constitution, published by the United States Constitution Sesquicentennial Commission, under the direction of the president, the vice president, and the Speaker of the House in 1943, contained this exchange in a section titled “Questions and Answers Pertaining to the Constitution”:

Q. Where, in the Constitution, is there mention of education?

A. There is none; education is a matter reserved for the states.

http://www.cato.org/blog/education-constitution

sadatoni on August 22, 2013 at 8:09 PM

There is none; education is a matter reserved for the states.

Absolutely. But I’d go even farther and say it’s a matter reserved for the various school boards and the communities they serve.

Dr. ZhivBlago on August 22, 2013 at 8:16 PM

My Spidey Sense is telling me that black colleges will be receiving better ratings and more money.

I’m also with malclave. No taxpayer funded loans for BA in Ancient Angry Asian Lesbians studies.

jukin3 on August 22, 2013 at 8:18 PM

Justice for “Shorty”….

d1carter on August 22, 2013 at 8:20 PM

A much simpler way to get university rip-off prices under control is to DROP the entire federal student loan program!

This action will not hurt the students. It will in fact force the universities to either reduce their prices to affordable levels or to go out of business!

How many teachers, and administrators, will SCREAM for a nice salary cut to lower prices instead of losing a job? How many new universities, with far lower prices, will form around these unemployed teachers?

We need to move education away from the current socialist structures and into the free market.

Freddy on August 22, 2013 at 8:22 PM

Like health care, liberals always attempt last century’s solutions. A Soviet Style State instead of pushing technology in the areas where its needed – medical technology – so that technology can reduce the cost of health care.

Now we are on the eve of MOOCs which will alter education and reduce the costs dramatically. But Obama – the One, the Farseer, the Most Intelligent President Ever elected – wants to do for education what he did for healthcare.

Watch the Republicans go full bore out to support this, because they are as bunch of statists as the Demon Rats.

deadite on August 22, 2013 at 8:23 PM

Hmm: Obama unveils new plan for college-rating system

Any college that prints maps with the Maldives off of South America will get feral government money. Any college that calls those islands the Malvines will get nothing. Any college whose maps call them the Falklands will be shut down.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on August 22, 2013 at 8:24 PM

yeay santa claus president is going to give us cheaper college, yet another gift.

phatfawzi on August 22, 2013 at 8:25 PM

would create a rating system beginning in 2015 to evaluate colleges on tuition, the percentage of low-income students, graduation rates and debt of graduates.
 
Eventually, as an incentive for schools to make improvements in these areas, federal financial aid would be awarded based on those ratings.

 
So HBCUs will be included, too? I find it hard to believe that they’d actually be penalized for their low standards and low performance:
 

In 83 federally designated four-year historically black colleges and universities, only 37 percent of students receive a degree within six years, according to a recent Associated Press study.
 
This is in comparison to a national overall six-year college graduation rate of 56 percent.
 
Another alarming statistic: only 29 percent of black males at HBCUs complete a bachelor’s degree within six years.
 
http://web.nccu.edu/campus/echo/c-men.html

 
I also have a hard time believing UNC Charlotte (53% 6 year rate) will receive a portion of NCCU’s “reallocated” money since they’re a much higher performing school with almost identical tuition.
 
Matter of fact, I bet exactly the opposite is planned.

rogerb on August 22, 2013 at 8:26 PM

It’s not enough to rate colleges… we need to rate majors as well.

Students pursuing productive majors, like STEM, should be eligible for more aid than those in more parasitic fields like journalism or victims’ studies.

malclave on August 22, 2013 at 7:44 PM

The people in parasitic fields get jobs. The people in STEM get passed over for cheaper foreign labor.

Punchenko on August 22, 2013 at 8:30 PM

There needs to be a rating system about how Marxist universities are and how much they love or hate America. It would look a little like the old DHS advisory system:

DANGER^
Noam Chomsky
|
Ted Kennedy
|
Gerald Ford
|
Bill O’Reilly
|
Patrick Henry

Greek Fire on August 22, 2013 at 8:37 PM

Obama does not understand he is not on the 2016 ballot. He is still out there campaigning…pandering…trying to get back the youth vote.

The last bunch of his “youth vote” got kicked hard in the short hairs by Obama’s abysmal understanding of simple economics.

This newer younger crowd is still malleable, impressionable, easy to fool.

There are already “metrics” out there to make judgements on colleges…there is also an annual US News and World Report publication, from which the totally unknowing can begin to gather some essentials, and Playboy still publishes “Party School of the Country” ratings each year.

And a host of more serious resources readily available if one is willing to look for themselves.

But, let’s put it this way…if you are too stupid or lazy or too busy getting busy to figure out what school is the best match for your abilities and interests, and cannot figure out that taking tens of thousands of dollars in loans is not a wise way to go…then maybe, no, then probably you are simply not college material, no matter what Mom and Dad, your relatives, your homeys and bros tell you.

When Obama started talking about “graduation rates” I wanted to throw a beer bottle at the TV…wasn’t about to risk a fine snifter of Hennessy XO.

Graduation rates are a function of the student…

Easy rules to understand…

Do the work, excel in the work, learn, learn some more, incorporate that learning into new learning…

Network among fellow students (the good ones, not the party ones) and with professors and grad assistants…get your cute adorable little face out there…and make sure they know who you are, your interests, strengths and weaknesses, too…

And read like your life depended on it, not just the assigned readings but the stuff in the bibliography and footnotes as well, as much as you can squeeze into a given day or weekend…and ditch the 24/7 video games…and graduation is sure thing.

Old School.

It works.

New skool…gubmint gonna give it to me…does not.

Government has no business in picking and choosing winners…

That is totally up to the individual students.

Barry is grasping at straws to leave some sort of positive legacy after he is banished from the kingdom…he’ll say anything at any time…or, like they said back in the army, if you throw enough sh*t, some is gonna stick to the wall at some point.

The Obama way.

coldwarrior on August 22, 2013 at 8:38 PM

Obama said he could create the ratings system through executive action, but the plan to reallocate federal aid based on the ratings would require congressional approval.

King Barry must be pissed that he still doesn’t control the purse strings.

GarandFan on August 22, 2013 at 8:46 PM

Notice that Barky who constantly laments the greedy corp., the greedy doctor, the greedy landlord says nothing about academia where costs have quadrupled inflation and where kids are scammed into believing if you take those courses in gender studies and queer theory then JL Morgan Chase will hire you at 70K right out of school.

xkaydet65 on August 22, 2013 at 8:58 PM

Sounds like an excuse to hire a few thousand more federal employees and create another worthless, expensive bureaucracy.

History shows us that every time the federal government gets involved in something with good intentions, the program gets taken over by progressive social engineers who twist it into another hideous soul sucking beast whose results bare no resemblance to the initial proposal.

They will use the fraudulent evaluation process to funnel money to where ever the radical left wants it.

Obama is a puppet to the Unions and they would only allow this if it ended up putting money in the right pockets.

The best part…..in typical mindless ideologue fashion, Obama has zero clue what is actually causing the problem he claims to want to fix, so he is essentially prescribing an argyle sock to treat cancer.

Another day, another shovel full of dirt from the hole the country sits in……

alecj on August 22, 2013 at 8:58 PM

Interesting note. A White House spokesperson was recently quoted saying ” The president has a preference for black colleges and universities.”

Given the IRS scandal, and Eric Holders ( an Obama appointee and the man for whom Obama issued an EO claiming Executive Privilege on account of) obvious prejudices and bigotry playing out in the form of law suits against states that have the audacity to try and clean up the election process by requiring voter ID’s to be certain that those who vote are actually eligible to vote…in spite of a Supreme Court decision affirming those efforts..

…I have to wonder how much Obama’s personal preferences for black colleges and universities is going to effect his new rating system…and ultimately, the distribution of federal student aid.

thatsafactjack on August 22, 2013 at 8:59 PM

thatsafactjack on August 22, 2013 at 8:59 PM

Social Justice.

It is what Obama et al., believe.

If you do not hold social justice dear to your heart, the focus of all your energies, you are simply a racist bitter clinger and need to be removed from society (see Bill Ayers — Prairie Fire) or simply punished to make amends for centuries of being white.

coldwarrior on August 22, 2013 at 9:13 PM

Liam on August 22, 2013 at 8:01 PM

I used the GI bill plus two part time jobs to get through college debt free. My daughter worked full time and attended part time to get through college and law school debt free. My son taught himself to program in 5 different programming languages by the age of 16 and has been employed as a programmer ever since. He dropped college when he realized the other students were coming to him for help instead of the professors as they realized he knew more about real world programing than the profs did. Yes college costs have increased but there are always ways to get out with no debt.

chemman on August 22, 2013 at 9:15 PM

If you hate the problems that Obama has created, you are going to really hate his solutions to those problems.

BTW, This is a full SQUIRREL for the fact that everything King Barky the Incompetent touches turns to sh!t. Ask any of the businesses he visits.

jukin3 on August 22, 2013 at 9:20 PM

First and foremost, no federal loans or financial aids to anyone going for majors that are not scientific… We do not want to give $ 200,000 to fools majoring in gender studies or the other idiotic humanities majors knowing full well that the vast majority of them will never get a good enough job to pay their college debt…

mnjg on August 22, 2013 at 9:22 PM

malclave on August 22, 2013 at 7:44 PM

The problem with STEM and I am a STEM grad is that it is feast or famine. A shortage occurs and everyone jumps into that area but by the time they graduate the shortage is over because the need was now and their were no Americans to fill the positions and lots of H1 visas are given in the area and cheaper overseas talent is allowed to be brought in.

Don’t get me wrong STEM majors are good but you need to be smart about watching the trends and selecting the correct field.

chemman on August 22, 2013 at 9:23 PM

Hotair will have a post about it … in three weeks. Too fresh, now.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on August 22, 2013 at 8:00 PM

It is really sad this cowardly reaction Hot Air has when it comes to blacks committing crimes against non blacks or against each others…

mnjg on August 22, 2013 at 9:24 PM

The problem with STEM and I am a STEM grad is that it is feast or famine. A shortage occurs and everyone jumps into that area but by the time they graduate the shortage is over because the need was now and their were no Americans to fill the positions and lots of H1 visas are given in the area and cheaper overseas talent is allowed to be brought in.

Don’t get me wrong STEM majors are good but you need to be smart about watching the trends and selecting the correct field.

chemman on August 22, 2013 at 9:23 PM

It is against the law to pay people on H1B visa a lower salary than American with the same position, the same experience, in the same company… The reason we got all these H1B visa is that students and their dumb parents think that their kids just going to college and getting any f***ing degree in stupid humanities is going to guarantee them a great job…

mnjg on August 22, 2013 at 9:27 PM

Obama’s 3-point plan
1) Cause a huge problem by throwing money at something until it gets bloated
2) Propose a new bureaucratic fix to the problem he created and call it “reform”
3) Campaign on it as an accomplishment

See: Mortgage Crisis, Frank-Dodd regulations

There Goes the Neighborhood on August 22, 2013 at 10:26 PM

The ever-rising rates of tuition inflation and student debt are certainly massive problems for the health and structure of our economy, but one of the largest factors that has contributed to them is the cheap and easy availability of federally subsidized students loans that have shaped the decision-making of young people over other options and allowed colleges to keep hiking their prices.

Not just the student loans. Also the Pell grants. And VA benefits.

Once Pell grants and VA benefits and student loans could be applied to textbooks, the price of textbooks skyrocketed.

The real effect of all this federal money flowing to universities was to enable all universities to raise their tuition and fees, and textbook prices.

Obama and his cronies created this problem, and now Obama wants to claim credit for reform.

There Goes the Neighborhood on August 22, 2013 at 10:30 PM

Tonight I learned on “Nova” that Machu Pichu was the home of Inca ruler Pachacuti, whose name means “He who remakes the world,” This was probably his ceremonial name. His common name was Obama.

flataffect on August 22, 2013 at 10:36 PM

More like azz-phuckery.

Jaibones on August 22, 2013 at 11:21 PM

Can’t wait to see where Faber College comes in in the rankings.

trigon on August 23, 2013 at 12:50 AM

well this will crush the middle class…… lets look how they get screwed already…….. Private university with a price tag of 50k a year……. if ya mom and dad make oodles of money and can pay the tuition junior don’t have a problem…….. if mom and dad are poor gubrmint grants will pick up about 35k . So junior needs to take out loans to the tune of 15k………. now if junior comes from da middle class mom & pops make too much for the little squirt to qualify for grants … no need to worry…. junior can get loans for the entire 50k…..,,.,.,. yep…. nut’n like da big FU to da Middle Class.

roflmmfao

donabernathy on August 23, 2013 at 3:35 AM

to evaluate colleges on tuition, the percentage of low-income students, graduation rates and debt of graduates.

Yeah, tie it to graduation rates and suddenly, college will be just like high school — lots of illiterate/barely-literate who somehow make it through to graduation. Think grade inflation is bad now? There are ways of making it worse. A college degree will become meaningless.

How about rating colleges based on a combination of starting salaries and mid-career salaries? Much harder to fake that one.

CJ on August 23, 2013 at 5:36 AM

Put those colleges under surveillance.

Viator on August 23, 2013 at 6:44 AM

How about rating colleges based on a combination of starting salaries and mid-career salaries? Much harder to fake that one.

CJ on August 23, 2013 at 5:36 AM

And employment rate one year after graduation. Or divide the total salary by the total number of students so that they can’t graduate one student who makes $100K and game the ratings.

talkingpoints on August 23, 2013 at 7:13 AM

Why should the federal government have ANY role in “rating” colleges and universities?.

coldwarrior on August 23, 2013 at 7:59 AM

Why should the federal government have ANY role in “rating” colleges and universities?.

coldwarrior on August 23, 2013 at 7:59 AM

Because we are all too stupid to live.

lilacs on August 23, 2013 at 8:28 AM

Oh, great. Instead of having students and parents “rate” schools by their choices as to where to go, the government will do it and inject the corrupting influence of politics. Swell.

Chuckles3 on August 23, 2013 at 8:49 AM

Look, lets be honest… any rating approach will be gamed, either at the college or major level. The only TRUE way to reform college tuition is to MAKE THE COLLEGE THE CO-SIGNER OF THE STUDENT LOANS THEY ACCEPT. If the college continues to promote majors that have little support in the marketplace, then they will be on the hook when the graduates default on the loans. Colleges will either focus on majors that are rewarded in the marketplace, or they will go bankrupt and close their doors.

As always, the free market always corrects what government tries to skew…

dominigan on August 23, 2013 at 9:50 AM

He’s got Common Core underway in the public schools, now it’s time to move on up to take control, by way of how much federal funds a college receives, by mandating that Rachel Jeantel gets her diploma. BTW, was there free pizza for this event?

Kissmygrits on August 23, 2013 at 10:07 AM

Ok, let me refine my suggestion now that I think on it…

Make the college the co-signer of the student loans they accept. If a student defaults on the loan, the college will be required to pay the balance + interest + 10% penalty on the original balance.

This would make them think twice about assisting a student in financing an impractical degree. And by applying the interest and penalty onto the default, they wouldn’t be able to “write themselves checks” to be invested against the risk of default.

dominigan on August 23, 2013 at 10:09 AM

They will finish the job of doing to our colleges what LBJ accomplished for our high schools and started with our colleges.

claudius on August 23, 2013 at 2:51 PM