The Obama campaign hopes to entice college students and other young voters with a new website titled “Student Loan Reform: The Facts” telling them how they will save money for college under the president’s “Pay as You Earn” plan, while slamming Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan for their opposition.
It suggests that Americans can attend the college they want based on their career goals without concern for the price of tuition if they support the President’s plan, which the website says would cap student-loan repayment at 10 percent of monthly income.
Small problem, anyone who graduated in 2011 or earlier and borrowers who are already in loan repayment will not benefit. According to US News, the plan is limited to borrowers who took out their first loans in 2008, and it only became available to new borrowers starting this year.
The website omits the fine print about the plan, unveiled by President Obama last October, making no mention of the fact that percentage would not kick in until July 1, 2014.
Those who graduated college in 2011 would only qualify for the 15 percent cap found in the President’s executive order.
The website includes a calculator using numbers to calculate what loan repayment terms would be under the plan, but it does not state where the numbers being used to make the calculations come from. The plan would result in student loans being forgiven if they are not repaid after 20 years, but those in teaching, nursing, the military or other public service they will be forgive after 10 years.
The Obama administration estimates 1.6 million Americans will be impacted.
“But remember, the universe we’re talking about here is just new graduates. And as their incomes rise, those savings will begin to decline as they’re forced to pay for more of their loans,” Atlantic columnist Daniel Indiviglio wrote in an Oct. 27, 2011 column. “ So this program isn’t really meant to assist with the overall burden of student loans of the average American.
“Instead, it intends to help those with lots of student loans who either have a low income after school during their early years or have a relatively low income throughout their career.”
And The Atlantic opined last fall that the Obama plan does little to slow down the out of control growth of student-loan costs, which have grown by 511 percent since 1999 compared with disposable income, which has grown by 73 percent in the same time period.
Nor does the plan address the estimated 15 percent jump in tuition at public universities that happened between 2008 and 2010 and ignores the connection between federal student aid and out of control tuition and fees at the nation’s college and universities.
“Just yesterday, President Obama told struggling college graduates to look at his ‘track record,’ but under this president, too many young Americans are suffering from higher college costs, more debt, and a lack of good jobs when they graduate,” Romney spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg said in a statement. “Today’s policies are just more of the same from a president who hasn’t fixed the economy or kept his promises to the young people who supported him four years ago.
“The Romney-Ryan plan will deliver 12 million new jobs to help recent graduates — and all Americans — enjoy a more prosperous future.”