Obama Administration to Release College Completion Tool Kit
Photo: WhiteHouse.gov Photo of the Day. President Obama and Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, speaking at Kenmore Middle School in Arlington, VA on March 14, 2011.
By Kathryn Knight Randolph
March 22, 2011
It’s no secret that President Obama wants the U.S. to become the first in the world in college degree holders by 2020. Since 2009, it has been a staple in his higher education platform, citing it as recently as January in his State of the Union Address. Currently, the U.S. is in a four-way tie for ninth place, with South Korea leading the rankings, according to politico.com.
But how can Obama succeed when every headline reads that a majority of states are slashing their higher education budgets this year?
Today, the White House is releasing their response. While most would expect further funding to trickle down from the Obama administration, that’s not the case. Instead, Vice President Joe Biden is presenting, on behalf of the administration, the College Completion Tool Kit, states politico.com.
The College Completion Tool Kit is a 23-page document exclusively for state governors, which details best strategies for improving college graduation rates, making it easier for students to transfer, steadying tuition increases and encouraging adults to return to school who may have some college credit but no degree, according to The New York Times.
If governors are able to effectively match the Obama administration’s targets, which are determined on a state-by-state basis, they will be able to participate in several grant programs aimed at providing further funding to state higher education, which was detailed by Secretary of Education Arne Duncan in a news briefing on Monday, March 21st, reported by The New York Times.
The New York Times states that these incentives include a $20 million Comprehensive Grant Program that awards states who implement the “tool kit” strategies; a $123 million “First in the World” incentive that recognizes stable tuition increases, faster graduation tracks and more college graduates; and finally, $50 million in College Completion Incentive Grants to states and schools that implement reforms that result in more college graduates.