President Obama, who kicked off his back-to-school bus tour for this year was in Des Moines on Monday and during his brief speech talked about affordable college education in front of students and parents at the North High School in the city.
The President, who refused to answer questions regarding the 2016 elections, discussed the efforts of his administration to make college education more accessible to middle and low-income families. Some of the efforts implemented to push affordable college education included the capping of student loan payments to 10 percent of their income if they become teachers and social workers. He also gave full support to a $60 billion proposal revealed in the early part of 2015 that would allow students a free two-year community college attendance if they are willing to work for it.
Federal Application for Student Aid (FAFSA)
Throughout his brief speech, he stressed the importance of filling out the FAFSA form. Prior to his tour the President announced that students and families would be able to apply for financial aid starting on the first of October 2016. The processing for this will start in January 2016.
President Obama also shared some education-related stories involving his eldest daughter, Malia who is in search of a college to attend next year. He said that he had told Malia not to be too stressed about the college search by insisting on getting into specific schools. He said that there are plenty of very good universities and colleges in the U.S. and even if they are not “branded” schools, it does not mean that these other schools would not be able to provide students with quality education.
Keeping to the topic
The President, who was with Anne Duncan, the Education Secretary, evaded questions that were more political in nature and talked on various topics such as music and art education, which he said are not extras but rather integral to the whole make up of a person.
He answered questions about candidates who have the best platforms for education reform by saying that voters should ask what types of resources a candidate would exclusively set aside for education once elected. The President and the Education Secretary said that voters should be asking candidates for their position regarding early childhood education, raising graduation rates in high school, making high school graduates ready for college, and boosting the number of college graduates.
President Obama added that people should not vote for candidates who say that teachers are the cause of the big problems in education.
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