Statement from Chancellor Cantor Regarding President Obama’s Plan to Make College More Affordable
“We were delighted to welcome President Obama to Syracuse as he shared his vision of how we can work together to make college more affordable and create new, innovative efforts that offer students a greater range of affordable, high-quality college options.
“The entire Syracuse community should be very proud that the President specifically came to our city to highlight a community-wide initiative that is already doing that—Say Yes to Education—here on the ground, in our schools and neighborhoods. This includes our SU students and faculty who are working in the Syracuse city schools every day as part of Say Yes, and helping create new life-changing opportunities for Syracuse’s next generation.
“The comprehensive plan that President Obama proposed is a real opportunity to bring universities and government together in a strategic and focused way to ensure that college remains accessible and affordable for lower- and middle-income students and families. Most critically, the President’s plan places an important value on creating new avenues of opportunity and social mobility through higher education. Working with our many partners, SU has been leading efforts nationally to accomplish the overarching goals underlying the President’s plan—performance, innovation and affordability.
“One key component of the proposed college performance rating formula will be access, likely to be measured in the percentage of students receiving Pell grants, an area in which SU is very strong, with more than one-quarter of all undergraduate students meeting this measure of socioeconomic diversity.
“We have worked to spark innovative pipelines to college by creating K-16 pathways and specific programmatic efforts like Say Yes that create support programs in schools, connecting SU and universities like it to community colleges, and organizing higher education compacts among sets of private and public colleges to support tuition scholarships that make college more affordable.
“Finally, as the President said, higher education is one of the best investments an individual can make. Our job is to ensure that the cost of that investment remains affordable and manageable for our students and families— and at SU we do that in many ways, including through a combination of very substantial financial aid for lower- and middle-income families and creative programs that are reducing the use of unmanageable types of student borrowing.
“We look forward to collaborating with President Obama, Secretary Duncan and our colleagues in higher education as the President’s plan takes shape.”