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Higher Ed in the News

Biden wants to make college more affordable

April 18, 2009

Vice President Joe Biden pledged Friday to close gaps between family incomes and higher education costs to make college a reality for more young people.

"We're going to make a series of investments, investments in our families and our students," Biden said, noting the Obama administration's efforts to improve tax breaks for families and increase need-based grants for the middle-class and poor.

Seeking to extend American Opportunity Tax Credit

To make college more affordable, the administration is seeking to extend its American Opportunity Tax Credit beyond 2010. The credit can be claimed for four years of college, running up to a maximum of $2,500 a year. It already has worked to increase funding for the Pell Grant program, which provides need-based assistance, but wants a system in place so money would automatically go to the program every year.

Cutting out private student lenders could save $94 billion

Biden said work should be done to consolidate student loan programs, to cut out private student lenders who currently act as middlemen on many federal student loans. He said that could save $94 billion over a decade. "We can take the $94 billion and reinvest it in more loans, more grants and more access to college," he said.

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