Last week President Obama announced the American Graduation Initiative, a 10-year, $12 billion plan focused on community colleges. Community colleges play an integral role in the American higher education system and will play an even bigger role as America works toward President Obama’s goals of regaining America’s place as the world’s leader in college completion rates and establishing an American workforce that is able to compete with that of other nations.
From the earliest days of the most recent presidential election, President Obama made it clear that one of his highest priorities if elected would be addressing climate change, energy consumption and the economy. It seems that within the first several months of taking office, President Obama has remained dedicated to those priorities. More recently, he maintains that he has found a single solution that will address all three problems: the development of a “green economy.”
Last night, President Obama delivered an address to the nation. He focused on the state of the economy and his administration’s plans for the economic future of our country focusing on energy, healthcare, and education. I thought I would examine his plans for education as it relates to higher education and compare them to the public policy initiatives and thought pieces that have previously been published.
In 2003, Michael Silverstein and Neil Fiske published the book Trading Up: Why Consumers Want New Luxury Goods…And How Companies Create Them. As partners at The Boston Consulting Group, Silverstein, Fiske (now the CEO of Eddie Bauer Holdings, Inc.) and others worked to research the consumer purchasing trends in the United States and overseas. The phenomenon that they identified was the willingness of consumers to pay a premium for certain goods even in times of economic downturns.
The College Board has published an annual report on college pricing since 1998. The report looks at tuition and fees, room and board, and other related costs at colleges in the United States. It also reviews the net price of college after subtracting financial aid grants to students. Colleges are categorized as public four-year, public two-year, and private non-profit four year.