Statement by AASCU President Dr. Muriel Howard in Response to President Obama’s Speech on College Affordability

“AASCU is very pleased that President Obama is continuing his commitment to the issue of college affordability, a concern of on-going relevance to us and our members,” said Muriel A. Howard, president of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU), in response to the President’s speech today at SUNY Buffalo.

“We concur that the three areas on which the President’s agenda is focused—paying for performance, innovation and competition, and affordable student debt—are important and we look forward to participating in the dialogue regarding the myriad of ideas presented by the President.

“AASCU appreciates that the President continues to recognize the states’ role in the issue of public college affordability. Our state colleges and universities have been working to reduce costs during a time when many states have reduced their support. There must be a renewed commitment to state funding by lawmakers.

“Access, affordability and accountability are significant philosophical cornerstones of our institutions; the President singled out several AASCU members, including Central Missouri State and the University of Wisconsin System, as exemplars in advancing his points.

“We are committed to working with the President and the Administration on college affordability. Our goals are the same: to provide students with access to a quality, affordable education and to ensure that they succeed. Their success is America’s future.”

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AASCU is a Washington-based higher education association of nearly 420 public colleges, universities and systems whose members share a learning- and teaching-centered culture, a historic commitment to underserved student populations and a dedication to research and creativity that advances their regions’ economic progress and cultural development.