DNC - RNC Web Video Ignores Facts - As Usual

“The RNC’s most recent web video ignores the reality that Mitt Romney’s policies, and his support for the Ryan budget, would be devastating for millions of hard-working students as President Obama has taken concrete steps to make college more affordable.  The President created a new tax credit to help students and families afford college, doubled funding for Pell Grants, made it easier for students to repay their student loans, and proposed to reduce federal student aid for colleges that refuse to keep down costs for middle-class families.  On the other hand, Mitt Romney has equated the President’s support for keeping the interest rate on student loan rates low with giving away ‘free stuff.’ And those comments came after he told students struggling with the cost of tuition that their only answers were to ‘shop around’ for lower prices and ask their parents to lend them money, proposed ending the college tax credit, and endorsed the Ryan budget, which would cut Pell Grants and let the student loan interest rate double. His record in Massachusetts was equally troubling - amidst rising costs, he cut funding for higher education. With a record of statements and actions like that, young Americans won’t be fooled by Mitt Romney’s rhetoric.” – Melanie Roussell, DNC National Press Secretary

 

 

PRESIDENT OBAMA CREATED THE AMERICAN OPPORTUNITY TAX CREDIT, MAKING COLLEGE MORE AFFORDABLE FOR MILLIONS OF STUDENTS AND FAMILIES

 

President Obama Established The American Opportunity Tax Credit, Which Provides Up To $2,500 In Tuition Relief And Assisted 4.5 Million Students And Families Working Towards A College Education In 2009 Alone. “The President created the American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC) as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which he signed into law in February 2009. The AOTC replaces the Hope Scholarship credit for Tax Years 2009 and 2010, increasing the benefits for nearly all Hope credit recipients and many other students by providing a maximum benefit up to $2,500 per student – 100 percent of their first $2,000 in tuition and 25 percent of the next $2,000 –expanding the income range over which taxpayers can claim a credit, and making the credit partially refundable. 4.5 Million Students and Families Received a Tax Refund from the AOTC in 2009 With an Average Value of $800, which they would not have been eligible for in 2008.” [Department of the Treasury, 10/12/10]

 

The American Opportunity Tax Credit Allows Families With Tuition Expenses To Receive Tax Credits Of Up To $2,500 Each Year For Up To Four Years Per Student. “For tax years 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012, the law allows families with tuition expenses to receive a tax credit of up to $2,500 each year for up to four years per student, with up to $1,000 of the credit being refundable.” [Department of the Treasury, 1/19/11]

 

In 2011, 9.4 Million Families Benefitted From The American Opportunity Tax Credit.  “Through the American Opportunity Tax Credit, 9.4 million families in 2011 received as much as $2,500 for tuition, fees, and textbook expenses.” [The Christian Science Monitor, 01/13/12]

 

PRESIDENT OBAMA SIGNED LEGISLATION TO DOUBLE THE AMOUNT OF PELL GRANT FUNDING, HELPING MILLIONS OF STUDENTS AFFORD COLLEGE

 

President Obama Doubled Funding For Pell Grants, Raising The Maximum Pell Award And Increasing The Number Of Recipients To Nearly 10 Million Students. “Thanks in part to these new investments, President Obama has roughly doubled funding for the need-based Pell Grant program, raising the maximum award from $4,731 in fiscal year 2008 to an estimated $5,635 for fiscal year 2013 and increasing the number of recipients by approximately 50 percent to nearly 10 million students.” [Department of Education, Accessed 04/15/12]

 

During The 2011 – 2012 Award Year, 9.7 Million Low And Middle-Income Undergraduates Received $36 Million In Pell Grants With An Average Award Of $3,678. “The Federal Pell Grant Program is the foundation for Federal financial assistance.  It helps ensure financial access to postsecondary education—disbursing $36 billion to 9.7 million low and middle-income undergraduate students during the 2011-2012 award year, with an average award of $3,678.” [Department of Education, Student Financial Administration, Budget Request, FY2013]

 

PRESIDENT OBAMA ENACTED STUDENT LOAN REFORM TO HELP STUDENTS REDUCE THEIR DEBT COMING OUT OF SCHOOL

 

President Obama’s “Pay As You Earn” Student Loan Proposal Caps Income-Based Federal Loan Repayments At 10 Percent Of Income Above A Basic Living Allowance Starting As Soon As 2012 For Certain Borrowers. “Allow borrowers to cap their student loan payments at 10% of discretionary income…Today, the President announced that his Administration is putting forth a new “Pay As You Earn” proposal to make sure these same important benefits are made available to some borrowers as soon as 2012.” [The White House, 10/25/11]

 

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President Obama Took Executive Action To Give Student Borrowers The Chance To Save Hundreds Of Dollars By Consolidating Their Federal Loans And Lowering Their Interest Rates.  “The Administration is also planning to offer student borrowers the chance to better manage their debt by consolidating their federal student loans…the Administration will allow borrowers the convenience of a single payment to a single lender for both loans. Borrowers who take advantage of this consolidation option, which begins in January, would also receive up to a 0.5 percent reduction in their interest rate on some of their loans, which means lower monthly payments that would save hundreds of dollars in interest.” [The White House, 10/25/11]

 

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Teachers, Nurses, And Members Of The Armed Forces Will Have Their Student Loans Forgiven After 10 Years If They Make Payments On Time. "Moreover, if they keep up payments, their [loan] balances will be forgiven…after 10 years if they are in public service, like teaching, nursing or serving in the military.” [New York Times, 3/30/10]

 

PRESIDENT OBAMA HAS CALLED ON CONGRESS TO PREVENT THE INTEREST RATE ON FEDERAL STUDENT LOANS FROM RISING FOR OVER 7 MILLION COLLEGE STUDENTS

 

President Obama Has Called On Congress To Prevent Interests On Subsidized Stafford Loans From Doubling From 3.4 Percent To 6.8 Percent. “This summer, the interest rates on subsidized Stafford student loans are slated to double from 3 4% to 6 8%—a significant burden at a time when the economy is still fragile and students are taking on increasing amounts of debt to earn a degree.” [Education Blueprint: An Economy Built to Last, White House, Accessed 04/15/12]

 

The President’s Proposal Will Keep Interest Rates Low For 7.4 Million Student Loan Borrowers And Save The Average Student Over A Thousand Dollars During The Life Of The Loan. “The President has called on Congress to prevent that hike from taking place this year, in order to keep student debt down  His proposal will keep interest rates low for 7 4 million student loan borrowers and save the average student over a thousand dollars during the life of the loan.” [Education Blueprint: An Economy Built to Last, White House, Accessed 04/15/12]

  

PRESIDENT OBAMA HAS PROPOSED INCENTIVES TO ENCOURAGE COLLEGES, UNIVERSITIES AND STATES TO KEEP TUITION COSTS  UNDER CONTROL

 

President Obama Has Proposed A Competitive Race To The Top Program For Higher Education To Reward States That Do More To Contain Rising Tuition And Make It More Affordable For Students To Earn A College Degree. “The President has proposed powerful new incentives for states willing to change policies and practices to strengthen their higher education systems  The Race to the Top: College Affordability and Completion will incentivize governors and state legislatures around the nation to spur needed reform in the higher education sector through a new $1 billion competitive fund that rewards states willing to drive systemic change across their colleges and universities, do more to contain rising tuition, and make it more affordable for students to earn a college degree.” [“Education Blueprint: An Economy Built to Last,” White House, accessed 04/15/12]

 

President Obama Has Proposed Federal Campus-Based Aid Reform That Rewards Colleges That Set Responsible Tuition Policy, Provide Good Value To Students And Families, Serve Low-Income Students. “The President’s proposed reform of federal campus-based aid aims to reward those colleges that keep tuition from spiraling too high and that provide greater value for students  Through modifications to this federal aid program, the Obama Administration would improve the distribution of campus-based financial aid and expand the availability of federal aid available to students by rewarding colleges and universities that succeed in: Setting responsible tuition policy, offering relatively lower net tuition prices and/or restraining tuition growth; providing good value to students and families, offering quality education and training that prepares graduates to obtain employment and repay their loans; serving low-income students, enrolling and graduating relatively higher numbers of Pell eligible students” [“Education Blueprint: An Economy Built to Last,” White House, accessed 04/15/12]

 

ROMNEY WOULD ENACT THE RYAN PLAN THAT WOULD ALLOW THE INTEREST RATE FOR STUDENT LOANS TO DOUBLE AND CUT PELL GRANTS

 

Wall Street Journal: “Earlier This Year, Mr. Romney Praised The House GOP Budget Plan, Which Would Allow Student-Loan Rates To Double In July” Costing Students $1,000 On Average For Each Year The Lower Rate Isn’t Extended.  “Earlier this year, Mr. Romney praised the House GOP budget plan, which would allow student-loan rates to double in July. The rate increase would affect about 7.4 million undergraduates projected to take out new Stafford Loans—the most common type of federal student loans—in the year beginning July 1, the White House said. For each year that the lower rate isn't extended, those students would pay an additional $1,000 on average over the life of their loans.” [Wall Street Journal, 4/26/12]

 

New York Times’ Paul Krugman: Romney Has Been “A Strong Supporter” Of The House Republican Budget “Which Would Drastically Cut Federal Student Aid, Causing Roughly A Million Students To Lose Their Pell Grants.” “Mr. Romney isn’t proposing anything that would fix that; he is, however, a strong supporter of the Ryan budget plan, which would drastically cut federal student aid, causing roughly a million students to lose their Pell grants.” [Paul Krugman, NYT, 4/30/12]

 

  • ·         New York Times Editorial: Cuts Proposed Under The House Republican Budget Will Likely Target Programs Like Head Start, Pell Grants For College Students And State Aid. “Under pressure from House conservatives, Mr. Ryan cut nearly $20 billion from spending levels set in the debt-ceiling pact, breaking faith with the Senate and potentially leading to a government shutdown this fall. Much of that reduction is likely to come from programs like Head Start, Pell grants for college students and state aid.” [Editorial, New York Times, 3/20/12]

 …AND CLAIMED GOVERNMENT AID TO COLLEGE STUDENTS ACTUALLY INCREASES TUITION

Romney Argued That The Federal Government Subsidizing College Tuition Would Increase Tuition Rates. Romney said in an editorial board interview with the Ames Tribune, “I look at place like University of Phoenix and others, I think you are going to find students saying, ‘you know what, that’s not a bad deal. I’m not willing to come out of college with $100,000 in debt.’ The alternative is to say that the government’s going to pay for that. And if the government starts writing checks for people to go to a university, they will just keep raising their rates because there will be no incentive to say we’ll have to hold our rates down in order to attract the best students. Now, of course some of the big institutions have great scholarship programs that keep the costs down through those charitable contributions. But, I’m not in favor of having the federal government start spending money which would only in my view raise the cost of tuition.” [Ames Tribune Editorial Board Interview, 12/29/11]

Romney: Federal Government Subsidies For Higher Education Has Resulted In Higher Tuition. Romney: “In my view one of the reasons for that is when the government subsidizes to a great degree a particular effort, people take advantage of the money coming in from the government and just keep on raising the tuition. And so if the federal government tomorrow were to say we will give $50,000 a year to every student in higher education my guess is that the tuition would go up $50,000.” [Romney, Reno Gazette Journal Editorial Board, 2/2/12]

Romney: “If The Federal Government Tomorrow Were To Say We Will Give $50,000 A Year To Every Student In Higher Education My Guess Is That The Tuition Would Go Up $50,000.” [Romney, Reno Gazette Journal Editorial Board, 2/2/12]

ROMNEY CRITICIZED AID FOR COLLEGE STUDENTS, INCLUDING PELL GRANTS, IMPLYING THE COST OF EDUCATION WOULD WORK ITSELF OUT IN THE FREE MARKET SYSTEM…

Romney “Seemed To Imply The Problem Would Work Itself Out In The Free Market System.” “Two voters at the town hall asked Romney about the rising cost of higher education. The GOP candidate agreed tuition rates were troublesome but seemed to imply the problem would work itself out in the free market system. ‘Of course there will always be the Dartmouths and Dukes and so forth that will charge a very high price and will get a number of terrific students,’ he said, referring to two major U.S. schools. But some state schools will decide ‘we're going to compete by giving people an education at a more reasonable price,’ Romney said.” [CNN, 12/22/11; Conway, NH Town Hall, 12/22/11]

Romney: “There’s No Such Thing As A Free Lunch… I’d Love To Help More Kids Go To School That Want To Go To School, But I’m Not Going To Get Up And Promise More And More Spending In Virtually Every Area People Think Is Important.” Romney said, “You know, um, it is—it has been the, um, the approach of people running for college to promise more more more to every constituency.  And to say, ‘I’m going to give more to every group.  I’m going to give you more money and you more money and you more money.’  And that’s what’s gotten us into the mess we’re in.  And I’d love to say, ‘Look, we’re going to give you money for your kids going to college.  And we’re going to give you money for every program that you might think of.’  And if I did that, I might be having better political prospects, but I wouldn’t be telling the truth.  And, frankly, we can’t keep on spending more than we take in.  And if we raise taxes on people, then those people will have a harder time buying things, which will make our economy worse and put more people out of work.  There’s no such thing as a free lunch.  I’d love to do more to help people who are sending kids to college.  But I—and I’m happy to look at the programs that we have and see if we can make them more efficient and more effective.  You know, we have college loan programs.  Some of them are working well and some probably need improvement.  I look to make government as efficient and as effective as possible.  I’d love to help more kids go to school that want to go to school, but I’m not going to get up and promise more and more spending in virtually every area people think is important.” [WMUR, 7/14/11]

Romney: Pell Grants Is A Program For The Poor. “Look, I -- most of the programs that deal with the poor and -- and you mentioned Pell Grants or assistance for lunch, I look at a lot of the programs for the poor. I'm gonna examine them one-by-one. But I think most of them I'm gonna turn the money back to the states and say you should craft the plans in the way you think best to care for your own poor.” [Huckabee Candidate Forum, Fox News, 12/3/11]

ROMNEY TOLD COLLEGE STUDENTS THEY’RE ON THEIR OWN SO “SHOP AROUND”

Romney In Youngstown Today: “The Best Thing I Can Do For You Is To Tell You To Shop Around, And To Compare Tuition In Different Places.” Romney: “The best thing I can do for you is to tell you to shop around, and to compare tuition in different places, and make sure you’re getting the education you want for the cost that you want. Make sure you can get your degree in four years, or less. Work hard… I was with one college that said, ‘we take the students and go without vacation, go right straight through,’ so you can get done in like two and a half years. Recognize that college is expensive. You don’t want to have huge debts. I know that it would be popular for me to just stand up and say I’m going to give you government money to make sure to pay for your college. But I’m not going to promise that. What I’m going to tell you is:  Shop around, get a good price […] But my best advice is find a great institution of higher learning, find one that has the right price, shop around. In America, this idea of competition, it works. Don’t just go to the one that has the highest price, go to one  that has a little lower price where you can get a good education, and hopefully you’ll find that, and don’t take on too much debt. And don’t expect the government to forgive the debt that you take on. Recognize that you’re going to have to pay it back.” [Romney Youngstown Town Hall, 3/5/12]

AS GOVERNOR, ROMNEY CUT HIGHER EDUCATION BY MILLIONS AS COSTS TO STUDENTS ROSE

Romney Cut $140 Million – 14 Percent – Of The Higher Education Budget During His Tenure.  “Another shift hit students at state colleges and universities, where fees soared 63 percent during Romney’s tenure, from an average of $2,959 in 2003 to $4,836 in 2007, according to the state Board of Higher Education. The fee hikes were enacted by each campus to offset deep budget cuts of about $140 million, or about 14 percent, during the fiscal crisis.” [Boston Globe, 6/29/07]

During Romney’s Tenure State Colleges And University “Fees Soared 63 Percent.” “Another shift hit students at state colleges and universities, where fees soared 63 percent during Romney’s tenure, from an average of $2,959 in 2003 to $4,836 in 2007, according to the state Board of Higher Education. The fee hikes were enacted by each campus to offset deep budget cuts of about $140 million, or about 14 percent, during the fiscal crisis.” [Boston Globe, 6/29/07

·         UMass “Tuition And Fees Have Risen 92 Percent Since The 2001-02 School Year” And “The Nine State Colleges…Have Climbed 98 Percent.” [Boston Globe, 4/4/07]