By Courtney Boyd, Editorial Intern
Two years ago, President Obama said in a speech that the best economic policy is one that produces college graduates who are skilled in, well, success. In 2009 he launched a program, the American Graduation Initiative, with the goal of increasing community college graduation numbers by 5 million in 10 years. In his State of the Union address this year, President Obama declared the U.S. as a mecca for students seeking post-secondary degrees, “where more students come to study than any other place on Earth.” Yet sentences later he stated that America is “ninth in the proportion of young people with a degree.”
Critics of Obama’s initiative argued that the problem is not one of quantity but rather of quality, and that, in his speech, the president failed to acknowledge the college debt crisis. In its series “Price of Admission,” CNBC says college costs are rising at twice the rate of inflation, reporting the average student debt at $24,000. Jennifer Ogunsola, a media relations manager for Mayor Kasim Reed, has written President Obama every day since January 1, asking for some sort of relief from her overbearing amount of school-related debt. She tells The Sevan Blog, “I don’t want him to [pay off my loans]. I just need some help. I feel like I’m being punished for going to college.” Her sentiment is one that thousands of others echo. The unfortunate reality is that tuition can be as costly as a mortgage, and while education and home ownership are core American values, attainment of either is-for many-just a dream.
Because Atlanta Tribune recognizes both the need for education and its costliness, we have provided a means for minority students to earn college degrees practically cost-free. Throughout the month our interns will update the suite with comprehensive coverage about the monetization of academia as part of our total package for the August issue. Pick up a copy or subscribe online, and check out our intern sagas for the latest posts! Remember, in the business of academia, we want our readers to remain number one.