West Michigan college and university administrators say they’re hopeful that plans laid out last week by President Obama to keep tuition from rising will jump-start conversations with state officials about how to best fund higher education.
“I appreciate very much his reminder to state government of their obligation to fund state universities,” said Matt McLogan, vice president for University Relations at Grand Valley State University. I’m hoping it leads to “renewed conversations about partnerships in Lansing.”
He and others said Michigan’s public colleges and universities have been hammered in recent years by declining state aid – the main factor that’s led to the rising cost of tuition.
Speaking before students at The University of Michigan on Friday, Obama proposed shifting federal aid away from colleges that fail to keep tuition from rising to those that keep costs under control.
Also included in his proposal is a Race to the Top initiative that would reward states that “are willing to drive systemic change in their higher education policies and practices, while doing more to contain their tuition and make it easier for students to earn a college degree,” according to the White House.