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HCC Reacts to Obama’s Plan to Lower College Costs through Ratings

HOLYOKE, Mass. (WGGB) — Rising college costs and student debt are making college more and more difficult for those wanting to further their education after high school.

President Obama has proposed a plan to keep college costs under control and ABC40 caught up with one local school who’s reacting to the president’s proposal.

“I’m attending Holyoke Community College to get a degree in early childhood education so I can work with little kids,” explains Koralise Williams.

She says the key to her future success is through education.

As a student though, the cost of college is a concern, “Financial aid is very important to me, without financial aid I really wouldn’t be able to come to school and pay for the costs,” Koralise adds.

President Obama wants schools to lower costs by rating colleges on their educational value and tying federal money for schools to school performance.

The proposed plan would give less aid to colleges that raise tuition and fees and more aid to colleges that keep costs under control.

William Messner President of HCC says, “I think the President has done us all a favor by putting the issues on the table.”  He also told us that the community college compares well to other state community colleges ranking second lowest in cost in the commonwealth and also has one of the highest graduation rates.

William has some concerns though.

“Are we going to be compared to other community colleges in Massachusetts?  In which case we may fare very well.  Or are we going to be compared to community colleges in North Dakota who have a very different situation than we do?” he asks.

In proposing his plan, President Obama says colleges and the federal government has been in sort of a financial arms race in recent years where college costs are going up, federal contributions are going up and eventually he says the government is going to run out of money.

Under the President’s plan, the U.S. Education Department would begin in 2015 to compile and release a scorecard of colleges that provide the best values.

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