As the price tag of higher education continues to balloon, the federal government is bolstering its efforts to make college more affordable for students, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said on Monday in a conference call to college journalists.
For more than 60 percent of Americans entering the workforce in 2018, a college education will mean the difference between employment and unemployment, according to a new study from Georgetown University researchers. So unless an unprecedented number of Americans complete college, the United States won’t have the same vibrant economy it once enjoyed, Duncan said.
“There are very few good jobs out there for people with only high school diplomas, and there are almost no good jobs for high school dropouts,” he said. “The new jobs in our economy will require a college education.”
But students today must pay for the high cost of college, a problem the federal government is trying to alleviate.
Duncan said the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act was a large part of the federal government’s effort to make college more affordable for students. The new law, which took effect in September, added $36 billion to the Pell Grant program and will provide debt forgiveness to students who work in the public sector for 10 years.