Seeking a reprieve from Republicans, Edward Snowden and the website that couldn’t, President Obama and the first lady held a feel-good event to push the issue of expanding college opportunity. There were lots of smiles, bucket-loads of remarks on heavy policy lifts and the sense that the White House would do its best to guarantee no child—at least none of those lucky enough to graduate from high school—would be left behind.
“We’ve got philanthropists and business leaders here, we’ve got leaders of innovative non-for-profits, we’ve got college presidents—from state universities and historically black colleges to Ivy League universities and community colleges,” said the president. “More than 100 colleges and 40 organizations are announcing new commitments to help more young people not only go to but graduate from college.”
Yet, despite the presence of the nation’s higher-education apparatus, the most important word of the nearly 45-minute conversation was mentioned only once: tuition.