President Obama sent this message to supporters today, asking Americans to join him in calling on Congress to make college more affordable:
Michelle and I wouldn't be in the White House today if it weren't for our college educations.
It wasn't cheap. We didn't finish paying off our student loans until about nine years ago.
That's why it's been a personal mission of mine to make higher education more affordable for more Americans—and starting today, I'm hitting the road to talk about real reforms to fundamentally rethink how we pay for college in this country.
I'm asking you to speak out as well.
Stand with me today—tell Congress you support real action to make college more affordable for American families.
Right now, the average student who takes out loans to pay for school graduates with more than $26,000 in debt. Something's got to change—it's not enough just to tinker around the edges. We've got to shake up the current system.
My plan won't be popular with everybody, especially those who profit from the way things are. But we owe it to our students to make sure that our colleges are working for them.
While we'll need Congress' help to get some of this done, my administration will continue to do what we can to make sure quality, affordable higher education is in reach for millions more young Americans.
So far, we've taken some good steps forward. We've published college scorecards to ensure that families are getting the best information as they pick a school, doubled funding for Pell grants, and established a college tax credit. And thanks to the income-based repayment program, which caps student loan payments based on new graduates' incomes, 1.6 million young Americans can keep more money in their pockets.
But there's much more we can and should do—this is key to creating a better bargain for the middle class.
That's something I've talked a lot about—every day, I think about what I can do to live up to it.
That's why I'm calling on Congress to tackle rising tuition costs and pass reforms, so families can get a better bargain when it comes to getting a world-class education.
I'm counting on OFA supporters to be part of this fight. Not much gets done in Washington without the voices of people like you.