During a speech Friday at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, President Obama credited his college education to receiving scholarships and student loans. He was met with cheers and applause as he proposed federal action to punish colleges that keep hiking up their cost of entry.
In theory, the proposal is a good idea. The amount set aside for the Perkins Loan Program would increase from $1 to $10 billion. If a college continued to increase tuition, it would risk losing out on federal aid. But in practice, one might compare the proposal to legislation like the No Child Left Behind education law that sounded ideal to some on paper, but once put into action resulted in consequences for students when their schools didn’t receive necessary funding. If colleges can’t raise tuition, they may cut funding elsewhere to make up for the price difference, bringing in more adjunct professors and increasing class sizes.
Obama’s idealistic plan is paved with good intentions, but it just may lead to a road where colleges’ business mindset overpowers the willingness to provide a quality education at an affordable price. Then, students — not colleges — would be the real losers.