"We will provide the support necessary for you to complete college and meet a new goal: by 2020, America will once again have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world."
- PRESIDENT OBAMA, 2009
Higher education is the single-most important investment that Americans can make in their futures, increasing their future potential earnings and lowering their risk of unemployment. Despite these benefits, the cost of attaining this education has skyrocketed over the past few decades, putting college out of reach for too many low- and middle-income families.
Over the past three decades, the average tuition at a public four-year college has more than a tripled, while a typical family's income has barely budged.
As a result, more students than ever before are relying on student loans to pay for their college education. Today, 71 percent of students earning a bachelor's degree graduate with debt, which averages $29,400. While most students are able to repay their loans, many feel burdened by debt, especially as they seek to start a family, buy a home, launch a business, or save for retirement.
The President and his administration have a long track record of taking steps to make college more affordable and accessible for families. And as part of his year of action to expand opportunity for all Americans, the President is committed to building on these efforts by using his pen and his phone to make student debt more affordable and manageable to repay.
Today, the President signed a new Presidential Memorandum directing the Secretary of Education to propose regulations that would allow an additional nearly 5 million federal direct student loan borrowers the opportunity to cap their student loan payments at 10 percent of their income. The memorandum also outlines a series of new executive actions aimed to support federal student loan borrowers, especially vulnerable borrowers who may be at greater risk of defaulting on their loans.
And tomorrow, June 10, at 4:00 p.m. ET, President Obama will take part in his first-ever Tumblr Q&A to answer your questions about education, college affordability, and reducing student loan debt. Submit your questions for the President at ObamaIRL.tumblr.com, and tune in tomorrow at 4:00 p.m. ET.