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View from the Hill

Breaking down Obama's higher education proposals

This week, President Barack Obama released his budget requests, which included a series of changes in education.

Below are a series of key points in Obama’s budget:

  • College Ratings System: Obama has previously proposed a new ratings system that would help students determine which college is best for them. His budget builds on that principle and also has new College Opportunity and Graduation Bonuses for schools that reward colleges for reaching out to low to moderate income families. The budget also has strengthened academic requirements for Pell Grants to encourage students to graduate on time.
  • Promoting Competition: The budget adds $100 million to the First in the World Fund, which works to fulfill Obama’s goal of the United States having the highest amount of college graduates by 2020. The money would support and test new programs and practices that both improve outcomes and make college more accessible.
  • Improve Pay-as-You-Earn programs: In the past, the Obama administration has instituted Pay-as-You-Earn to ensure students only pay 10 percent of discretionary income. The new budget would extend Pay-as-You-Earn to all student borrowers and reform the terms of the program to work as a “safeguard” against rising tuition.

It is unclear if the budget will be passed, as Congress is still divided between Republicans’ majority in the House of Representatives and Democrats in the Senate.

View from the Hill is a political blog by Daily Tar Heel staff writers. Any opinion expressed in it does not represent the Daily Tar Heel. Email the blog coordinator at

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