WASHINGTON, DC - The U-S is slipping in the world, in terms of college graduates.
Among developed nations, America's college completion rate slides in at number 12. President Obama says he wants that to change by 2020. And he wants the U-S to be back on top, meaning getting diplomas to 10 million more students.
Education Secretary Arne Duncan says to do that, college needs to be more affordable. Duncan says, "That's something that's really troubled me historically, but we had a fundamental breakthrough. We simply stopped subsidizing banks, cut them out as the middleman in terms of making loans, the Department of Education is going to loan directly. That added 60 billion dollars to increased Pell grants in the next decade. So a huge step in the right direction. Also increase the tax credit for middle class families going on to college. So what we can do is look every child in the eye now across the country and say no matter how tough things might be at home, or in your community, if you work hard, that
opportunity to go to college is going to be there. We've also made a huge investment in community colleges. I think they're sort of the unpolished gem along the education continuum. And we have not just 18 year olds, but 38 year-olds and 58 year-olds going back to retrain and retool. We put an additional 2 billion dollars behind the nation's community colleges as well. So a massive investment to make college, both four-year and two-year more accessible and more affordable. "
President Barack Obama is talking about his higher education plan at the University of Texas in Austin Monday.
Duncan also said an important step to increase the college graduation rate is to make sure students are ready for college when they leave high school.