State leaders react to president's call for college affordability

President addressed school costs in SOTU speech

INDIANAPOLIS - Amid the talk of the economy and gun control, there was another proposal that could have a big impact on Hoosier families in Tuesday night's State of the Union address.

The president wants colleges and universities to keep tuition costs down and is threatening possible federal action if they don't.

President Obama called on congress to change the higher education act so that affordability and value help determine what schools get certain types of financial aid, and he announced a College Scorecard website to help students find a school that's affordable.

"Taxpayers can't keep on subsidizing higher and higher and higher costs for higher education," the president said in his address. "Colleges must do their part to keep their costs down. It's our job to make sure they do."

U.S. Sen. Dan Coats, R-Indiana, says the call to get Congress involved is ridiculous.

"Listen, Congress can't do everything, and telling private universities and colleges and school what they ought to do, and the government will lead the way is ridiculous," Coats said.

At the Statehouse Wednesday, university leaders were meeting with Gov. Mike Pence. Ball State University's President Jo Ann Gora said you can complete four years at Ball State for less than most people pay for a car.

"I think sometimes people don't realize how affordable it is," Gora said. "Too often, the numbers that are cited in the public relate to private schools' tuition and fees, not public institutions."

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