What Obama's victory means for higher education

Published: Wednesday, Nov. 7 2012 12:00 a.m. MST

Oct. 2011, Gan Golan, of Los Angeles, dressed as the Oct. 2011, Gan Golan, of Los Angeles, dressed as the "Master of Degrees," holds a ball and chain representing his college loan debt, during Occupy DC activities in Washington. Obama's re-election means sticking up for federal financial aid at colleges and universities. (Jacquelyn Martin, Associated Press)

Our take: President Barack Obama will continue to value federal student aid in his second term, according to Libby A. Nelson's article on Inside Higher Ed. But will he be able to cut in half the high tuition rate of college, as he promised in his State of the Union address in January? Nelson writes what Obama's second term means for higher education.

President Obama, who won re-election Tuesday night, has already hinted how he might deal with higher education in a second term. The question now is how much of that agenda he will be able to accomplish in the next four years, given the budget crises he will face and the expectation that Republicans in Congress will continue to oppose his priorities.

The president's victory means that colleges can expect the White House to continue to stand up for federal financial aid, as well as for federal research money, in the likely fierce budget battles in the coming months. But the depth of the financial issues the country faces means that federal dollars are likely to be limited, and the president's support is more likely to halt deep spending cuts than it is to find new money for higher education programs.

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