Office of Planning and Budgeting

2012 Democratic and Republican Higher Education Platforms

Now that both Democrats and Republicans have adopted party platforms at their respective conventions, what do we know about their plans for higher education? Below is a quick overview of each party’s higher education goals and associated action steps (past, present, or future) adapted directly from the parties’ formally-adopted platforms:

DEMOCRATIC PLATFORM

GOAL 1: To make college affordable for students of all backgrounds and confront the burden of loans.

  • Removed banks as student loan middlemen, saving more than $60 billion.
  • Doubled investment in Pell Grant scholarships.
  • Created American Opportunity Tax Credit of up to $10,000 over a 4 year degree.
  • Working to help student loan payments be only 10% of a student’s monthly income.
  • Pledged to incentivize colleges to keep their costs down.
  • Invested over $2.5 billion into strengthening our nation’s Minority Serving Institutions.

GOAL 2: To recognize the economic opportunities created by our nation’s community colleges.

  • Invested in community colleges and called for business-college partnerships to train 2 million workers.

GOAL 3: To make this country a destination for global talent and ingenuity.

  • Will work to help foreign students earning advanced degrees stay and help create jobs here.

REPUBLICAN PLATFORM

GOAL 1: Improve our nation’s classrooms.

  • Address ideological bias that is deeply entrenched within the current university system.
  • Protect the public’s investment in state institutions from abuse by political indoctrination.
  • Call on State officials to ensure that public institutions be “places of learning and the exchange of ideas, not zones of intellectual intolerance favoring the Left.”

GOAL 2: To address rising college costs and get back to programs directly related to job opportunities.

  • Expand new systems of learning (online universities, community colleges, etc.) to compete with traditional 4-year colleges.
  • Advance the affordability, innovation, and transparency needed to make lower cost alternatives accessible to everyone.

GOAL 3: To get federal student aid onto a sustainable path.

  • Provide families with information necessary to making prudent choices about a student’s future.
  • Shift the federal government’s role in student loans from being the originator of loans to an insurance guarantor for private sector student loans.
  • Welcome private sector participation in student financing.
  • Reevaluate any regulation that drives tuition costs higher.

Voters’ choices on November 6th will determine which party, and consequently which platform, has the greatest impact on the UW. In the meantime, any relevant updates or changes will be added to OPBlog.

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