A top education institute says its “overblown” expectations that students will be able to attend college in the US are overblown.
The American Council on Education says the country’s high-poverty and high-achieving students are “frightened” by the prospect of paying $1,500 a semester for a full year of college.
“We think the reality is the only way to solve the affordability issue is to make sure students are able to pay that cost and get a decent education,” the institute’s executive director, Elizabeth O’Connor, told ABC News.
The $1.2 trillion education reform bill passed last month calls for $1 trillion in federal money to help low-income students afford college.
But O’ Connor says she fears the $1 billion spent on the college loan program will not solve the education crisis, because the program does not guarantee that students can afford to go to college.
In a statement to ABC News, O’Donnell said the college program “has become a political football” for Republicans in Congress, who have argued it’s a subsidy to the middle class.
O’Connor told ABC that the education system is “overwhelmingly failing” its students.
“I think the $500 a month for a college education is a very, very low-ball figure for most students and it is a really, really low amount for students to be able and willing to pay for,” she said.
The education institute is a member of the Association of American Colleges and Universities, a nonprofit advocacy group that lobbies on behalf of colleges.
The institute’s website says the institute was founded in 1965 to “promote higher education as a viable alternative to the student loan program.”
“In the process, the institute has served as a catalyst for education reform and has played an important role in helping to transform our education system from a government-backed program to a private, private sector program,” the statement said.