Washington, DC – (12/4/14) – This morning, President Obama hosted a “Summit on College Opportunity” with the intention of “encourag[ing] college attendance,” focusing on “supporting colleges to work together to dramatically improve persistence and increase college completion, especially for first generation, low-income, and underrepresented students.” Part of the White House’s “College Opportunity Day of Action,” the event comes on the heels of an election in which young people directly contributed to the Republican sweep of Congress.
At the Summit, President Obama said “higher education increasingly feels out of reach.” That’s true – with a youth unemployment rate of almost 15% and the average student loan debt at $30,000, the President’s higher education policies are an obstacle to our generation’s ability to realize our potential through an affordable higher education.
Generation Opportunity President Evan Feinberg released the following statement:
“A ‘College Opportunity’ Summit hosted by this Administration is a sad irony. Instead of discussing positive solutions that would increase innovation and entrepreneurship in higher education, the event doubled down on the failed status quo.
“It may sound nice to continue to artificially lower student loan interest rates and give out more money to push for more college attendance. But this year was the first in decades in which fewer students attended college than the previous year. Without real reform, we’ll continue to see college costs go up and fewer students realizing their dreams.
“Politicians should stop pandering to our generation and instead work together with us to unleash the ingenuity of our generation. We can bring a high-quality, customized education to each and every young American. Lawmakers should start by supporting accreditation reform while pursuing a broader agenda that supports education innovation.”