Michelle Obama To Help Push Husband’s Unpopular Higher Ed Agenda

Nov 14, 2013 by

It’s been three months since President Barack Obama debuted his making college affordable plan, and reception to the proposal remains chilly and skeptical, with both conservative and liberal thinkers panning the strategy, The College Fix reported this week.

So it looks like it’s Michelle Obama to the rescue. Several news outlets report higher education is the First Lady’s new pet project.

“Officials said Mrs. Obama is coordinating with Education Secretary Arne Duncan, who has been overseeing the president’s efforts to boost the nation’s college graduation rate,” the New York Daily News reports. “This new endeavor marks a slight but noticeable shift in emphasis for Mrs. Obama. While she frequently touts the value of education while speaking to students, she rarely connects those general comments with specific policy goals promoted by her husband.”

Considering her success rate with schools – her K-12 healthy school lunch program was despised by many students who called the mandated meals inedible, and even one school district claimed her menus “taste like vomit” – her foray into convincing every kid that their only chance at success is to go to college should be interesting.

An article in Inside Higher Ed quoted some as saying the new initiative is a way for Michelle Obama to use her “bully pulpit” to push more low-income, first-generation students into four-year colleges. But many claim Obama’s plan actually hurts low-income students.

Obama’s proposal seeks a new campus ratings system based on factors such as average tuition rates, student debt, graduation and transfer rates, and the percentage of low-income students receiving federal Pell grants. Under the proposal, students who attend higher-ranked colleges would be eligible for larger and cheaper federal loans.

Some argue this would hinder low-income students who can only really choose the college that’s closest to them geographically, regardless of its federal ranking.

via Michelle Obama To Help Push Husband’s Unpopular Higher Ed Agenda.

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