Saturday, August 16, 2014

WHITE HOUSE VIDEO MESSAGE: Everyone Should Be Able to Afford Higher Education


In this week’s address, with schools getting ready to open their doors again over the next few weeks, Maribel Duran, the Chief of Staff for the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics talked directly to students and parents about the importance of preparing for an education beyond high school. In today’s economy, some higher education continues to be the surest ticket to the middle class, but for too many families across the country, paying for higher education is a constant struggle. But the President and First Lady have taken action to reform student loans, expand grants and college tax credits, help make loan payments more manageable, and have proposed plans to make sure colleges also do their part to bring down costs. And just this week, as part of the President’s Year of Action, the Administration announced a new series of commitments to support students who need a little extra academic help getting through college.
Remarks of Maribel Duran, Chief of Staff for the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics
Spanish Weekly Address
The White House
August 16, 2014
Hi, everybody.  Over the next couple weeks, schools all across the country will be opening their doors. 
And so today, I want to emphasize how important it is to begin preparing yourself for an education beyond high school.
In today’s economy, higher education is the surest ticket to the middle class. The unemployment rate for those with a bachelor’s degree is less than one-third of the rate for those without a high school diploma.
Thankfully, we have undoubtedly made some significant gains over the last decade – the Hispanic dropout rate has been cut by more than half from 28% in 2000 to less than 13% in 2012 and it keeps getting better.
And the President continues to take steps to make college more accessible to all, by reforming a student loan system so that more money goes to students instead of big banks.  He expanded grants and college tax credits for students and families.  He capped student loan payments at 10% of their income. 
The President has also proposed a plan to tie federal financial aid to a college’s performance, and create a new college scorecard so that students and parents can see which schools provide the biggest bang for your buck.  He launched a new $75 million challenge to inspire colleges to reduce costs and raise graduation rates, and increase opportunities for underserved students. The Hispanic community holds the keys to President’s goal of having the best educated and most competitive workforce in the world – and you can be part of that.
This is a challenge I take personally, and all you young people should take your education personally, too.  Challenge yourself to reach higher.  And set your sights on college in the years ahead.  Your country is counting on you.
Thanks everybody.  Good luck on the year ahead.

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