Thursday, November 8, 2007

Obama's Plan for Working Families

Barack Obama unveiled a plan yesterday that he pitched as a blueprint for how to help working families “reclaim the American Dream,” including by expanding access to college and better tailoring community-college programs to improve local economies.

Among his proposals, the Democratic senator from Illinois advocated a new tax credit of up to $4,000 per year for college tuition and fees that would be refundable, meaning that people whose income is so low that they do not owe taxes would still be able to benefit.

Mr. Obama said the $4,000 amount is equivalent to two-thirds of the cost of tuition at the average public college in the United States.

The senator also proposed to simplify the process of applying for federal financial aid by eliminating the Free Application for Federal Student Aid form, known as Fafsa, and using tax data to determine eligibility instead.

On another front, Mr. Obama said he wanted to help tap the “tremendous resource” of community colleges. He proposed creating a Community College Partnership Program that would help institutions determine what technical and other skills they need to teach their students to help prepare them to work in local industries and to decide in which emerging fields the colleges should begin to offer new programs. The program also would reward colleges that increase their numbers of graduates.

For more news on higher education and the 2008 election, you can also visit The Chronicle's Campaign U. blog.

No comments: