Obama, Biden to speak in Pennsylvania Friday about rising college costs

President Barack Obama will bring his proposals to tackle the skyrocketing cost of higher education to Pennsylvania Friday, speaking alongside Vice President Joe Biden at an event at Lackawanna College in Scranton.

According to Fox News, the proposals will include the following:

According to Obama administration estimates, average tuition costs at four-year public colleges have more than tripled over the last three decades. The average student loan borrower also graduates with over $26,000 in debt. 

The president will also propose legislation to give colleges a “bonus” based on the number of students they graduate who received Pell Grants. The goal is to encourage colleges to enroll and graduate low- and moderate-income students. 

The administration will also seek to require colleges with high dropout rates to disburse student aid over the course of the semester as students face expenses, rather than in a lump sum. The aim is to prevent wasting grant money by ensuring that students who drop out do not receive funds for time they are not in school. 

Obama is also renewing his call for a $1 billion college “Race to the Top” competition that would reward states that make significant changes in higher education policies while also containing tuition costs.

Some students at Lackawanna secured their tickets to attend the event Thursday. They noted the rising cost of college is on their minds and hope lawmakers in Washington can act on some sort of plan that will improve things while they’re still in school.

“It can be a (source of) depression sometimes when you have that much money on your mind and you’re thinking of that quantity of a number. It can be on your mind a lot,” said Lackawanna sophomore Charles Cooley.

The speech at Lackawanna is expected to begin just before 5 p.m. Friday. Fox43 will provide coverage throughout the day.

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