On Campus

Obama offers students debt relief

News comes as study reveals rapidly growing tuition rates

Photo by feelsgoodlost on Flickr

As some American students continued their Occupy protests on Wednesday, President Barack Obama was being cheered by other students in Colorado where he announced he will speed up his initiatives to help students overcome debt.

“We should be doing everything we can to put college education within reach for every American,” the President said in what CNN describes as a “campaign-style event.”

Obama announced that a program to limit the repayment of federal student loan debt to 10 per cent of discretionary income will start next year, instead of the year after. And he said that students will be able to consolidate public and private loans to save on interest charges.

Campaign-style speech or otherwise, American students are looking for debt relief more than ever. On Wednesday, The College Board Advocacy and Policy Center reported that the cost of four-year degrees at a public institutions rose 8.3 per cent in the past year for in-state students and 5.7 per cent for out-of-state students. In California, which is struggling to reduce its state debt, prices rose 21 per cent. Nationwide, in-state tuition fees now average $8,244; the out-of-state average is $20,770.

Statistics Canada reports that average tuition in Canada rose by 4.3 per cent to $5,366 in 2011.

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