Parents, LSU officials react to proposal to make college affordable

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The cost of going to college keeps rising. And President Barack Obama has some new ideas to make it more affordable.

At LSU Move-In Day there were plenty of parents helping their kids settle in.  Jean Byrdsell drove with her daughter all the way from Atlanta, Ga. She is among the many parents who will pay for college out of pocket or with loans.

"The cost of tuition is increasing yearly so that would be a fantastic help to any family," said Byrdsell.

She is talking about Obama's new proposal to make college more affordable. It's based on a rating system, grading schools by tuition costs, graduation rates, and graduate earnings.

He calls it the college scorecard, giving schools a score. Higher scores mean more federal aid for that particular school.

LSU President Dr. F. King Alexander thinks the scorecard idea is a good one.

"When we talk about value, our graduates do well in the market place. But at the same time, we are well below the national average of student debt. And we are well below the national average of student cost," said Alexander.

He says he knows of up to 50 schools that are increasing tuition to more than $60,000 this year.  Alexander said that federal aid keeps flowing to those schools whether or not they need the money.

"Are we going to draw distinctions between institutions holding the line on college cost making the right decisions and keeping students out of debt? Or we just going to give it to anybody that decides to set up a university in their garage or a street corner," said Alexander.

Byrdsell says any way to save on tuition would be a good idea.

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