National Politics: Obama and McCain on Higher Ed Issues

Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.

Financial Aid
Senator Obama plans to cut the costs of attending college by:

  • Eliminating the FASFA
  • Streamlining the aid process by using tax forms
  • Eliminating bank subsidies
  • Expanding Pell Grants

Senator McCain plans to:

  • Consolidate financial aid programs
  • Streamline financial aid applications
  • Simplify family tax benefits
  • Expand the lender-of-last resort capability of the federal student loan system

Preparing for College

  • Providing $25 million annually in matching funds for states to develop Early Assessment Programs
  • Creating a community college partnership program to strengthen community colleges

Senator McCain plans to provide parents and students with more information on the college entrance and payment process.


  • Recruiting teachers with a new Teacher Service Scholarship that will cover 2- or 4-year teacher certification
  • Prepare teachers by requiring all schools of education to be accredited
  • Reward teachers with innovative ways to increase teacher pay


  • Provide bonuses for teachers who work in underperforming schools and demonstrate strong leadership as measured by student improvement
  • Provide funding for professional teacher development

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