President Obama’s Decisions for Financial Aid

College money in the form of aid from the Federal government is the direct response to decisions made by President Obama.  Since being in office, Obama has made several changes, which have impacted the bottom line – students.  From a parent’s perspective, the goal from the time a child is born is saving enough money to make sure that child receives a college education.  With a college degree being more critical today than ever before, getting into school remains a priority.  With a degree, securing a great job that pays well is far easier than without a degree.

We wanted to take the opportunity to go over some of President Obama’s decisions for financial aid to help you understand the pros and cons of various financial aid solutions.  Remember, even in cases where challenges exist, many options are available so if one solution for aid fails, you have more to consider.  However, the biggest obstacles include parents having less money to set aside toward a college education, coupled with the rising cost of tuition, books, lab time, room, and boarding.  When you put the two issues together, it becomes clear that being creative in securing financial aid is part of the solution.

The most positive aspect of President Obama’s decisions for financial aid is that he and his administration have placed higher education on the top of the list for priorities.  Because of this, the goal is to find ways of making college more affordable.  One plan under Obama’s leadership is to look at ways of supporting not only children but also the parents as they work hard to find money to send the kids to college.  The following are some of the changes being suggested, which appear to have positive slants.

•    Financial Aid – Another of President Obama’s decisions for financial aid is to make the process more streamlined for securing money.  Currently, students must complete and submit the FAFSA form, which is the acronym for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.  The problem is that to determine whether a person receives financial aid, a complex formula is used to evaluate and analyze information on that form.  The goal is to make the process easier but also to simplify calculations used so ultimately, people would know ahead of time whether they would qualify for a certain type of financial aid or not.  If disqualified for one option, that person would have notice to begin looking elsewhere.

•    Tax Credit – First, under the fully refundable American Opportunity Tax Credit, parents would be guaranteed that the first $4,000 spent toward a college education would be free.  This tax credit would be available for the majority of people in the United States.

•    Fund Matching – You will also find that one of President Obama’s decisions for financial aid is to create a fund of $25 million a year that would be used to match funds for the states choosing to develop Early Assessment Programs.  As a result, juniors in high school, along with the family, would be able to monitor progress toward finances to cover a college education.  Again, with earlier notification, parents could make appropriate changes or look for financial aid from different sources so the child does not miss the opportunity to attend college.

•    Pell Grants – For Pell grants, which are grants from the Federal government, the focus is increasing the amount to $5,400.  This would take several years to accomplish but the amount is more than what students are currently receiving each year.  In addition to this, Obama wants to see the maximum award increased specifically for students from low-income situations.

•    Bank Subsidies – Another change in the works to help students pay for college via financial aid is to eliminate private loan programs, which are extremely expensive.  Instead, that money would be used to assist students in achieving their goal of a college education.

•    Partnerships – The last of President Obama’s decisions for financial aid we wanted to address has to do with a new partnership called the Community College Partnership Program.  The purpose of this program is to help strengthen communities across the country who offer grants specific to technical education and analysis of high-demand skills.  With this, more programs would be available for people pursuing an Associate’s Degree in the Arts.  In addition, this program would prove beneficial in the form of rewards to educational institutions successful with increasing the number of students who graduate after earning an Associate’s Degree, but also those who move on to a four-year college or university.

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