Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Obama calls for more higher ed support in State of the Union speech

Speaking on a theme that he likely will continue in remarks at U-M on Friday, President Barack Obama on Tuesday called for additional financial support to make college more affordable.

In his State of the Union address, the president asked Congress to keep the interest on student loans from doubling this year, called for an extension of the tuition tax credit, and said students should have a chance to earn their way with more work-study jobs.

"Of course, it's not enough for us to increase student aid.  We can't just keep subsidizing skyrocketing tuition; we'll run out of money.  States also need to do their part, by making higher education a higher priority in their budgets. And colleges and universities have to do their part by working to keep costs down," Obama said.

U-M President Mary Sue Coleman issued a statement saying, "We could not agree more with the president that we, as a nation, must recommit ourselves to higher education that is accessible to all.  A highly educated work force is critical to being competitive in today's global marketplace.

"The only way to achieve the support necessary for public education today is through a shared commitment that includes the federal government, state government, the business sector, donors, parents and the universities themselves.

"We look forward to hearing more about this important topic when the president visits our campus Friday."

Obama is scheduled to deliver remarks at the Al Glick Field House, 1300 S. State St., at 9:35 a.m. Friday. Distribution of tickets to the free, public event will begin at 9 a.m. Thursday at the Michigan Union Ticket Office. They will be given out on a first-come, first-served basis.