According to Education.com, America lags behind many nations in the world when it comes to making college affordable.
To make college more affordable for Americans, Obama plans center around two goals: his American Opportunity Tax Credit and freeing up more money for aid by using public instead of privately funded loan providers.
Obama said his tax credit will ensure that, "The first $4,000 of a college education is completely free for most Americans, and will cover two-thirds the cost of tuition at the average public college or university," he says. "And by making the tax credit fully refundable, my credit will help low-income families that need it the most."
[Editor's Note: The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 included a scaled-back version of the American Opportunity Tax Credit as a modification to the Hope Scholarship tax credit. The legislation increased the maximum credit to $2,500 (100% of the first $2,000 in tuition, fees and course materials and 25% of the next $2,000), expanded it to four years from two, and made the tax credit partially refundable. In addition, the income phaseouts were expanded and the tax credit is no longer subject to the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT). These improvements are temporary, for the 2009 and 2010 tax years only. However, President Obama has proposed making the improvements permanent in his FY2010 budget.]
Additionally, Obama says he wants to make math and science education a national priority, noting that 80 percent of the fastest growing occupations are dependent upon a knowledge base in science and math, yet studies show American students do not graduate with the skills needed for these fields, Education.com reported.
According to Obama, "A truly historic commitment to education -- a real commitment will require new resources and new reforms." He said, "It will require a willingness to break free from the same debates that Washington has been engaged in for decades -- Democrat versus Republican; vouchers versus the status quo; more money versus more accountability. And most of all, it will take a President who is honest about the challenges we face -- who doesn't just tell everyone what they want to hear, but what they need to hear."
For more information on Obama's education initiatives, visit Education.com