Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Uncle Sam’s educational initiatives

By Alma Zhumagulova

As the country is slowly coming out of the recession, the US government is coming up with a range of various initiatives to facilitate the future economy by helping the US teenagers get one of the most valuable assets – higher education. President Barack Obama, Vice President Biden and the Secretary of Education Arne Duncan are all actively seeking for the solutions to the problems in the US education system. Many students are dropping out of school because of the rapidly increasing tuition costs especially in these times of severe recession, when their parents are being laid off, house prices plummeted and future employment prospects seem to be very dim. According to “the U.S. has fallen to sixth in the world in number of people attending college." However, the ultimate plan is for the US to “produce” the highest number of university graduates in the world by the 2020. This will result in the larger share of American population being at least in the middle class and, thus, to a much more competitive economy. With the new Income Based Repayment plan that came into force in July many American students will have a chance to graduate from a respectable college and have large percentage of their federal student loans to be waived ( Furthermore, Arne Duncan along with two members of Congress is proposing the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2009 to Congress this week. Together the administration and the Department of Education are working on making the federal loan application process easier, advancing 529 college savings plans, progressing Federal Direct Loan Program to all US universities and colleges, investing into community colleges (Obama’s American Graduation Initiative) and many other educational initiatives ( Providing the US population with more options to get quality higher education is currently one of the primary goals of the government, and community colleges can help reach the 2020 target. Many community college graduates state that choosing community colleges over 4-year colleges was the much cheaper education alternative was one of the best decisions they have made ( For many of them community colleges became doors to four-year colleges, by providing access to partial and full scholarships and financial aid as well as quality education at an affordable cost.



1 comment:

  1. Although both sides / factions in this debate about what went wrong with the US education system are entitled to their positions, I seriously doubt that any one side is fully or primarily responsible for what is occurring here in our society at this point. It's probably 50/50 or 51/49 at worst. However, I am reasonably sure that continuing to argue and fight about it, without actually addressing the underlying root problems, will not advance anyone's interests. We all should Try Harder.