Speaking from the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta Tuesday, President Barack Obama unveiled the website for his Student Aid Bill of Rights, an initiative aimed at helping college graduates pay off their student loans. Everyone from professors to business leaders to congressmen can go to whitehouse.gov/collegeopportunity to show support for the plan, Obama said, noting that the website will allow the White House to organize a coalition calling for progress in college affordability.
â€” The White House (@WhiteHouse) March 10, 2015
Obama said these policy tweaks will help students "cut through the bureaucracy " and "get a faster response" on their complaints and questions. "We're trying to make sure, across the board, more and more young people can afford to go to college and then afterward aren't so burdened with debt [that they] can't do anything else," he said.
The president said lenders should assist borrowers so they're able to keep up with their monthly payments. This means starting with clear, accurate information, instituting reasonable fees on a logical timeline and giving advice on how to prioritize payments -- such as addressing high-interest loans before low-interest ones. Although the plan is no silver bullet, Obama said, it's a step toward making education more accessible.
"We've got more to do, all of us," he added, mentioning the upcoming Republican response to his 2016 fiscal-year budget. The GOP's proposed reauthorization of No Child Left Behind was the wrong approach, he said, because it lets states and cities shuffle dollars and cut school support. His administration threatened to veto the House bill if passed last week. The Senate rewrite is still in the works.