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Obama: Stop college tuition hikes
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Obama: Stop college tuition hikes

Schools would face reduction in federal aid if they didn't comply

  • President Obama speaks to students at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor on Friday.
    Associated Press screengrabPresident Obama speaks to students at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor on Friday.

President Barack Obama stood before a crowd of thousands of students at the University of Michigan, calling for more initiatives that will make college more affordable for Americans, the Associated Press reported.

"We've got to have an economy in which every American has access to a world-class education," Obama said at Ann Arbor, USA Today reported.

Obama said he would press Congress to pass initiatives that would have colleges keep tuition costs down or the schools would face reductions in federal assistance, USA Today reported. This was the president’s final event this week following his State of the Union Address on Tuesday.

He also called for Congress to double the number of work-study jobs in the next five years, along with increasing student aid, the Detroit Free Press reported. Obama also proposed giving $55 million for individual colleges to entice education quality improvement.

"We are putting colleges on notice: You can't assume that you'll just jack up tuition every single year," Obama said, Bloomberg reported. "We should push colleges to do better. We should hold them accountable if they don't."

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan spoke before Obama’s address in Michigan, outlining the president’s speech, especially the call for keeping tuition down and having the government offer states incentives to invest in higher education.

“He is also proposing to increase the amount of campus-based aid to $10 billion annually. The increase is primarily driven by an expansion of loans in the federal Perkins program – which comes at no additional taxpayer cost,” the White House said in a statement, the Detroit Free Press reported.

In order for these changes to be made, Congress would have to approve them in the proposed fiscal 2013 budget on Feb. 13, Bloomberg reported. The Obama administration is also pushing Congress to block an increase in government-subsidized Stafford loan interest rates, which would affect 7.4 million borrowers. Rates are supposed to double this upcoming summer to 6.8 percent.

This article originally appeared on GlobalPost.

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