Romney Pledges To Simplify Federal Student Aid And Revive Bank-Based Lending

Mitt Romney, the presumed Republican presidential nominee, outlined his higher-education platform on Wednesday, promising to simplify the federal student-aid system, eliminate burdensome regulations, and revive bank-based student lending.

In a lunchtime speech before the Latino Coalition, Mr. Romney blamed federal student aid for rising college tuition but did not call for specific cuts in programs.

"We must stop fueling skyrocketing tuition prices that put higher education out of reach for some and leave others with crushing debt," he said.

Mr. Romney, who has praised for-profit colleges on the campaign trail, did not mention the sector in his speech, apart from a call for students to have "access to a wide variety of options." However, his platform promises to "welcome private-sector participation instead of pushing it away" and to "encourage market entry by innovative new education models."

The plan vows to reverse a 2010 law that removed banks from the federal student-loan system, calling it "President Obama's nationalization of the student-loan market," and to repeal "confusing and unnecessary regulations that primarily serve to drive costs higher," substituting "common-sense reforms that ensure appropriate student outcomes."

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THE CHRONICLE OF HIGHER EDUCATION

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