Elmira/Corning Regional Airport
Pres. Obama Tour Kicks Off
Written By: Tanja Rekhi
WENY -- The President kicked off his two day tour of the region today at the University of Buffalo.
Today, to a crowd of over 7,000 people, President Obama said a higher education is the single most important investment students can make for their future.
But as the average college tuition for a four year college skyrocketed more than 250% over the past three decades, it's an investment some students have to think twice about.
"I know I want to go to graduate school after my four years I know that I'm going to take out loans for that as well and seeing them accumulate year after year it's almost disheartening," says Allii Fontaine, a junior at Elmira College.
Students say they're glad the President is taking notice.
"We are going to have to do things differently," said President Obama. "We can't go about business as usual because if we do that will put our younger generation, our workers, our country at a competitive disadvantage for years."
The President wants to base federal funding on a new rating system, which will also give parents and students an idea of which schools provide the best value.
His plan also calls for a "pay as you earn" for students who took on student loans after 2008 and haven't borrowed since 2011. It would cap repayments at 10 percent of their monthly income.
"Given this congress and the way it's performed before with anything that the President proposes, I doubt it will get beyond the, 'Gee that's nice,'" says WENY-HD Political Analyst Dr. Jim Twombly.
Dr. Twombly also has concerns about what kind of impact the rating system could have on smaller institutions like Elmira College, where he teaches.