On the campaign trail Wednesday night in Virginia, Mitt Romney took on the topic of education. While extolling the virtues of America as “the land of opportunity for every single person,” Romney said that he believes students should only be able to get as much education “as they can afford”:
I think this is a land of opportunity for every single person, every single citizen of this great nation. And I want to make sure that we keep America a place of opportunity, where everyone has a fair shot. They get as much education as they can afford and with their time they’re able to get and if they have a willingness to work hard and the right values, they ought to be able to provide for their family and have a shot of realizing their dreams.
This is similar to other comments Romney has made regarding higher education, such as when he told students to simply borrow the money for college from their parents or when he told them to “shop around” or join the military to get an education. But the crux of the matter is that Romney’s policies would make college less affordable for low- and middle-income students. So what they “can afford” is going to be a lot less.
For starters, Romney supports the radical Republican budget, authored by Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI), which would cut Pell Grants for more than one million students, at a time when Pell Grants are already covering the smallest percentage of tuition in their history.
Next, Romney supports undoing the student loan reforms that were included in the 2010 health care bill. Those changes cut billions of dollars that were being wasted paying bank middlemen to service federal student loans, and instead plowed the money back into student aid. Repealing the measure, as Romney would like to do, would simply spend money to put banks back between students and their federal loans.
Finally, Romney is a staunch supporter of predatory for-profit colleges, which are much more expensive than public schools, and often leave their students buried in debt and without the credentials necessary to obtain a good job. Of course, this should come as no surprise, since the for-profit industry is donating heavily to Romney’s campaign.