AASCU President Muriel Howard Responds to President Obama’s State of the Union

The President once again demonstrated his strong and steadfast commitment to education in his State of the Union speech. His unmistakable endorsement of educational opportunity as the path to success delivers a powerful message to all Americans. AASCU and its member institutions share the President’s views on the central importance of education, and recognize their obligation to promote access, quality and innovation.

In his address, the President promised action on a number of issues affecting students and the middle class. We believe strongly in the President’s renewed focus on under-served and at-risk students, as well as on middle-income families struggling with college costs. AASCU supports the President’s recent call to close the inequality gap in America. We are especially focused on low-income minority students and our veterans. Four million students at AASCU institutions receive a low-cost, high-quality education that enhances the likelihood that they will find employment and prosper in this difficult economic environment. Last year AASCU institutions awarded:
  • 66 percent of all public four-year bachelor’s degrees in education
  • 55 percent of all public four-year bachelor’s degrees in business
  • 57 percent of all public four-year bachelor’s degrees in health professions
The President’s call to increase college opportunity and graduation is a challenge that AASCU institutions tackle daily. We look forward to working with the Administration in the coming weeks on new accountability measures; we anticipate continuing discussions on the proposed college rating system. While we are concerned about potential adverse consequences of the proposed system, we are open to further discussion and will attempt to be helpful to the efforts as appropriate.