Cutting college costs: five questions about Obama’s proposal (+video)

President Obama unveiled a plan Aug. 22 to make college more affordable. “We can’t price the middle class and everybody working to get into the middle class out of a college education,” he said. Here’s a look at the plan and affordability efforts.

2. What’s been some of the response among academics and lawmakers?

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite
In this July file photo, House Education Committee Chairman Rep. John Kline, R-Minn., left, walks to the House chamber on Capitol Hill in Washington. Most Democrats support President Obama's education plan, while Republicans like Kline do not.

Democratic lawmakers and interest groups representing students and borrowers lauded the broad ideas. The plan could “truly shake up the broken status quo of our higher education system,” said Aaron Smith, co-founder and executive director of Young Invincibles, which advocates on behalf of 18-to-34-year-olds.

Higher-education associations largely support the thrust of it as well, but they’re cautious or skeptical about a rating system because of the complexities involved.

Rep. John Kline (R), chairman of the House Education and the Workforce Committee, said that “imposing an arbitrary college ranking system could curtail the very innovation we hope to encourage – and even lead to federal price controls.” But he said the committee will look at the proposals.

2 of 5

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.