President Obama's budget proposal for the 2013 fiscal year would beef up spending on higher education. Appropriately, he unveiled it at a community college in Virginia on Monday.
Obama's budget would increase Education Department spending to $69.8 billion -- a 2.5 percent jump. This additional funding towards education is the highest increase of any domestic department in the federal government.
Obama's plan for higher education would focus on new financial incentives for colleges and universities that are able to keep their costs down, and add more funding for research grants. He is also asking for billions of dollars to go toward training programs in community colleges, including help for schools for that are able to help graduates secure internships and jobs in their field. However, the president would cut-off for-profit colleges from this type of funding.
Check out the 5 things Obama's budget plan does for higher education. Then tell us, what do you think? Weigh in below!
President Obama's FY 2013 budget would create a $1 billion "Race to the Top" fund for colleges. In addition, Obama is seeking a $55 million to fund the "First in the World" program for colleges that "encourage productivity and efficiency." Obama is also proposing to increase federally funded research at universities in certain areas. The National Institutes of Health would see no funding increase, for instance, but new policies would increase the money available for grants by 7 percent. Other research areas would see between 1 percent and as much as a 110 percent increase in funding grant spending.
Obama's budget offers an $8 billion proposal to encourage colleges and businesses to work together to train 2 million workers in high-growth industries. Obama would include financial incentives to ensure that students find permanent jobs. Inside Higher Ed reports the money would also support paid internships for low-income college students.
Some of the president's budget initiatives would shut out for-profit colleges. Obama would enact stricter rules on for-profit colleges. For-profits would not be eligible for money from the "Race to the Top" or "First in the World" programs, nor would they get any research grants. During Obama's tenure, for-profits have increasingly come under scrutiny by the administration and been subject to investigations by Congress.
The maximum Pell grant award would be bumped up by a hair to $5,635, an increase of $85. Pell grants have not been adjusted to the cost of college over the past 30 years, but were spared during 2011 budget negotiations.
Obama's budget would increase spending on the federal work study program by 15 percent. The president is also calling for suspending a student loan interest rate scheduled to double this summer. Inside Higher Ed reports the funding formula for the Perkins federal student loan program would be "revamped" to push colleges to keep net tuition low and provide "good value." That value would be based on the ability of graduating students to get jobs and pay off their loans, as well as a school serving a higher proportion of low-income students. Obama is also requesting a 390 percent increase in teacher education assistance, upping the allocation from $41 to $201 million. This is particularly tailored to train more science and math teachers.