Issue Position: Education - Higher Education Policy
Prepare for the 21st Century in Higher Education
America is facing increased competition from overseas like never before. Higher education is as much a part of that competition as the job sector, and we must rise to the challenge and modernize our universities so that they retain their status as producers of the most skilled workforce in the world. The answer is not to impose more regulations on institutions, but to encourage the government to support innovative approaches to education, removing regulatory barriers that prevent us from moving forward with new ideas.
Improve Information for Parents
Institutions report on hundreds of factors to the U.S. government every year, but the government does nothing with the information. Making this information available to families in a clear and concise manner will help more students make more informed choices about higher education.
Simplify Higher Education Tax Benefits
The existing tax benefits are too complicated, and many eligible families don't claim them. By simplifying the existing benefits, I can ensure that a greater number of families have a lower tax burden when they are helping to send their children to college.
Simplify Federal Financial Aid
Too many programs and a complicated application process deter many eligible students from seeking student aid. The number of programs also makes it more difficult for financial aid officers to help students navigate the process. Consolidating programs will help simplify the administration of these programs, and help more students have a better understanding of their eligibility for aid.
Improve Research by Eliminating Earmarks
Earmarking is destroying the integrity of federally funded research. Billions of dollars are spent on pork barrel projects every year; significant amounts come from research budgets. Eliminating earmarks would immediately and significantly improve the federal government's support for university research.
Fix the Student Lending Programs
We have seen significant turmoil in student lending. John McCain has proposed an expansion of the lender-of-last resort capability of the federal student loan system and will demand the highest standard of integrity for participating private lenders. Effective reforms and leveraging the private sector will ensure the necessary funding of higher education aspirations, and create a simpler and more effective program in the process.