Obama Wants College Aid Tied to Ratings

Calling growing student debt levels a “crisis,” President Barack Obama laid out a plan Thursday aimed at reining in rising tuition costs by creating a system to rate colleges and eventually tie federal student aid to the institutions’ performance.

The president called for rating colleges before the 2015 school year on measures such as affordability and graduation rates—”metrics like how much debt does the average student leave with, how easy is it to pay off, how many students graduate on time, how well do those graduates do in the workforce,” Mr. Obama told a crowd at the University at Buffalo, the first stop on a two-day bus tour.

“The answers will help parents and students figure out how much value a college truly offers,” he said.

Once a rating system is in place, Mr. Obama will ask Congress to allocate federal financial aid based on the scores by 2018. Students at top-performing colleges could receive larger federal grants and more affordable student loans. “It is time to stop subsidizing schools that are not producing good results,” he said. Read more.

Via Colleen McCain Nelson and Caroline Porter, The Wall Street Journal.

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