The President and the Vice President were in Scranton tonight, the final stop on a bus tour with an agenda of looking to shake up higher education.
“College has never been more necessary, but it’s never been more expensive,” said the President.
Kevin Steele is unemployed, but hopes to start classes at Lackawanna College.
“Right now, community college first then maybe transfer to another actual college,” said Steele. “I’m looking at it realistically. I’m not mega bucks.”
The Obama administration says the cost of higher education has risen 260 percent since the 1980s.
The average student is finishing school with $26,000 of debt.
The President says he has a three-step plan: rate colleges based on their value to students; get colleges to find ways to reduce costs, such as shortening the amount of time it takes to graduate; and capping monthly payment on student loan debt.
“Some will require action from Congress,” said President Obama amidst boos from the audience. “That’s always challenging, but these are ideas that should have bipartisan support.”
Pennsylvania Republicans are already saying these proposals fall flat. They question the President’s willingness to reach across the table.
Vice President Joe Biden was in his hometown and talked about the lifeline education provides for people in Scranton to get out of poverty.
“We can’t have the doors of college shut to the kids of the middle class and those aspiring to get there, because we can’t let opportunity die,” said Biden.