Helping Middle Class Families Afford College



America is home to the best colleges and universities in the world — and increasing college attainment has never been more important to our economic competitiveness — yet tuition and fees have skyrocketed over the past decade, making it more difficult for American families to invest in a higher education for their future. Today’s college students borrow and rack up more debt than ever before. In 2010, graduates who took out loans left college owing an average of more than $26,000. Student loan debt has now surpassed credit card debt for the first time ever.

Our nation’s commitment to placing a good education within reach of all who are willing to work for it helped build a strong American middle class over the past several generations. In keeping this promise alive, President Obama has expanded federal support to help more students afford college, while calling for a shared responsibility in tackling rising college costs. President Obama’s efforts of reform in higher education funding have produced the largest investment in student aid since the G.I. Bill, while resulting in a more efficient, reliable, and effective system for students to help them afford college and manage debt:

Doubling Investments in Pell Grants
The President has raised the maximum Pell Grant award to $5,635 for the 2013-14 award year — a $905 increase since 2008. Under the President’s leadership, the number of Pell Grant recipients has expanded by 50 percent over that same time, providing college access to millions of additional low-income and middle-class students across the country. The Obama Administration’s landmark investment in the Pell Grant was enacted in the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, which ended student loan subsidies for private financial institutions and banks and shifted over $60 billion in savings back to students.
Helping Students Manage Student Loan Debt
The Administration’s “Pay as You Earn” plan expands income-based repayment to enable 1.6 million students to take advantage of a new option to cap repayment of student loans at 10 percent of monthly income — an option that student borrowers can begin to use at the end of this year. These changes will reduce the burden of student loans in a fiscally responsible way. Additionally, millions of borrowers are now eligible to consolidate Direct Loans and FFEL Loans and save up to half a percentage point on their interest rate.For more information: Everything you need to know about income-based repayment
Expanding Education Tax Credits
President Obama established the American Opportunity Tax Credit in 2009 to assist families with the costs of college, providing up to $10,000 for four years of college tuition for families earning up to $180,000. Over 9.4 million students and families benefit from the American Opportunity Tax Credit each year.

Keeping Student Loan Interest Rates Low
In his 2012 State of the Union address, the President called on Congress to keep interest rates low for the 7.4 million borrowers who take out subsidized Federal student loans for this school year. With President Obama’s leadership, rates on new subsidized Stafford loans remained at 3.4 percent — instead of doubling to 6.8 percent — this past summer. This bold action saved students an average of $1,000 on the life of their loans, and President Obama has committed to keeping interest rates low for student loans moving forward.

In August, President Obama signed a bill that takes an important step in fulfilling our nation’s obligations to students. The bipartisan legislation cuts rates on all new loans this year and save a typical undergraduate student $1,500 over the life of those loans. Learn more: Fact Sheet on Bipartisan Student Loan Deal

For more:


US Department of Education – Federal Student Aid


FACT SHEET: The President and First Lady’s Call to Action on College Opportunity

January 16, 2014

To view the White House report on Increasing College Opportunity for Low-Income Students, click HERE. To view the list of Commitments to Action on College Opportunity, click HERE.

The President believes he has a job to do, and every day he is fighting to create more opportunities for working and middle class Americans. And while he will continue to work with Democrats and Republicans in Congress to move our country forward, the President is committed to partnering with colleges and universities, business leaders, nonprofits and others to do everything he can to support more college opportunities for students across the country.

Today, in response to the President’s call to action, the President and First Lady are joining with leaders in higher education to announce over 100 new commitments to expand college opportunity. To help more students afford and graduate from college with the skills they need, the Administration has already taken action including doubling Federal investments in Pell Grants and college tax credits and reforming student loans. Last August, the President laid out an ambitious new agenda aimed at improving college value, removing barriers to innovation and competition, and ensuring that student debt remains affordable. As the Administration continues to push for changes that keep college affordable for all students and families, we can and must do more to get more low-income students prepared for college, enrolled in quality institutions, and graduating if we are to achieve our North Star goal of leading the world in the share of college graduates by 2020. Together, the President, the First Lady and these leaders in higher education are taking another step to help ensure that every child, rich or poor, has the opportunity for a quality college education so they can get ahead.

Over 100 New Commitments to Expand College Opportunity: The participants in today’s event were asked not simply to attend an event – but to commit to new action in one of the following areas crucial to college opportunity:

* Connecting more low-income students to the college that is right for them and ensuring more graduate

* Increasing the pool of students preparing for college through early interventions

* Leveling the playing field in college advising and SAT/ACT test preparation

* Strengthening remediation to help academically underprepared students progress through and complete college

Today, over 100 colleges and universities and 40 organizations are announcing new commitments to action to build on their existing efforts in this area. Together, these actions will serve hundreds of thousands of students across the country.

For more:


ConnectED initiative



ConnectED initiative Modernizing and Expanding the E-Rate Program Connecting More than 15,000 Schools and 20 Million Students

ConnectED initiative
Modernizing and Expanding the E-Rate Program
Connecting More than 15,000 Schools and 20 Million Students

ConnectED: President Obama’s Plan for Connecting All Schools to the Digital Age

Driven by new digital technologies, the future of learning is increasingly interactive, individualized, and full of real-world experiences and information. Unfortunately, the average school has about the same connectivity as the average American home, but serves 200 times as many users, and fewer than 20 percent of educators say their school’s internet connection meets their teaching needs. And our teachers do not get enough training and support to integrate technology in their classroom and lessons, despite the fundamental and increasing importance of those skills.

Today, President Obama called on the Federal Communications Commission to take the steps necessary to build high-speed digital connections to America’s schools and libraries, ensuring that 99 percent of American students can benefit from these advances in teaching and learning. He is further directing the federal government to make better use of existing funds to get this technology into classrooms, and into the hands of teachers trained on its advantages. And he is calling on businesses, states, districts, schools and communities to support this vision.page1image9848page1image10008

  • The ConnectED initiative will, within five years, connect 99 percent of America’s students to the digital age through next-generation broadband and high-speed wireless in their schools and libraries. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and companies like Apple, Microsoft, Sprint, and Verizon are already providing their support, collectively pledging to connect more than 15,000 schools and 20 million students by the end of 2015.
  • Trained Teachers: The ConnectED initiative invests in improving the skills of teachers, ensuring that every educator in America receives support and training to use technology to help improve student outcomes. The Department of Education will work with states and school districts to better use existing funding through the Elementary and Secondary Education Act to strategically invest in this kind of professional development to help teachers keep pace with changing technological and professional demands.
  • Build on Private-Sector Innovation: These investments will allow our teachers and students to take full advantage of feature-rich educational devices that are increasingly price-competitive with basic textbooks and high-quality educational software (including applications) providing content aligned with college- and career-ready standards being adopted and implemented by States across America.

ConnectED will Jumpstart Learning Technology Across our Nation’s K-12 Schools

Our schools were designed for a different era – based on a limited school day and a seasonal calendar. This system does not take into account the constant learning opportunities of global connectivity, and does not prepare our students for a collaborative and networked economy.

We must make our schools an integral part of the broadband and technology transformation – particularly when that same technology can be harnessed to drive empowered, more personalized learning. From digital textbooks that help students visualize and interact with complex concepts, to apps and platforms that adapt to the level of individual student knowledge and help teachers know precisely which lessons or activities are working, this technology is real, it is available, and its capacity to improve education is profound.

That is why the President is announcing ConnectED, a breakthrough initiative to jumpstart learning technology across our nation’s K-12 schools.

For the entire article:


Youth CareerConnect

President Obama has made clear that he is committed to making 2014 a year of action by taking steps – both with Congress and on his own – to expand opportunity for all Americans. As part of achieving the President’s vision to prepare all students for success in post-secondary education and in a competitive workforce, the U.S. Department of Labor, in collaboration with the Department of Education, has established Youth CareerConnect grant.  This initiative encourages America’s school districts, institutions of higher education, the workforce investment system, and their partners to integrate rigorous educational standards with work experiences and skills in ways that enhance instruction and deliver real-world learning opportunities for students. Across the country, 24 Youth CareerConnect awards will provide $107 million to local partnerships of local education agencies, workforce investment boards, institutions of higher education and employer partners as they re-design the teaching and learning experience for youth to more fully prepare them with the knowledge, skills, and industry-relevant education needed to get on the pathway to a successful career, including postsecondary education or registered apprenticeship.

Youth CareerConnect schools will strengthen America’s talent pipeline by supporting stronger high school, postsecondary, workforce investment system, and employer partnerships that deliver:

  • Robust Employer Engagement & Work-Based Learning: Youth CareerConnect awards will provide students with the education and training that combines rigorous academic and career-focused curriculum to increase students’ employability skills. Employer partners will provide work-based learning, job-shadowing, and mentoring opportunities to ensure students’ learning is relevant.
  • A Focus on High-Demand Industries, Including STEM:  Youth CareerConnect awards will create a pathway for students to enter high-demand industries such as information technology, healthcare, and other STEM-related and manufacturing fields. Grantees will ensure recruitment and retention of underrepresented groups including girls and minorities to expand the talent pool for these high-demand occupations.
  • Integration of Post-secondary Education and Training: Youth CareerConnect awards will enable high school students to participate in education and training that leads to credit toward a post-secondary degree or certificate and an industry recognized credential, where appropriate.

For more:


Learn more:

Bringing America’s Students into the Digital Age
Closing the Broadband Gap for Students and Teachers
Youth CareerConnect FACT SHEET

From President Obama’s 2014 State of the Union Address:

Schools & Education Opportunity – Making Progress Through Executive Action

* Connecting 20 Million Students in 15,000 Schools to the Best Technology to Enrich and Personalize K-12 Education. The President’s initiatives allow students to learn more, to do so at their own pace, and to develop the knowledge and skills employers demand:

ConnectED initiative
Modernizing and Expanding the E-Rate Program
Connecting More than 15,000 Schools and 20 Million Students over the Next Two Years

* Redesigning High Schools to Teach the Real-World Skills That Kids Need. “Youth CareerConnect” grants provide high school students with the industry-relevant education and skills they need for a successful future.

* Increasing College Opportunity and Graduation. The Presidents calls for continued mobilization events like the “White House Call to Action on College Opportunity” with over 150 new commitments from colleges, universities, businesses, philanthropists, and non-profits to improve college access and success for low-income students.

* First White House Maker Faire. Later this year, the Administration will launch an all-hands-on-deck effort to provide even more students and entrepreneurs access to the tools, spaces, and mentors needed to Make. There are many ways in which, in addition to the contributions of thousands of individual Makers, companies, universities, mayors and communities, and foundations, and philanthropists can get involved.

* Making College More Affordable for American Families. Thr President will continue pursing executive actions to spur the development, validation, and scaling-up of these cutting-edge innovations like the Pell Grant award.

Continuing to Work With Congress

* Making High-Quality Preschool Available to Children All Across America. President Obama has laid out a bold vision to expand access to high-quality pre-school to every four-year old in America and improve access to voluntary home visiting programs and other services for our youngest children. This year, the President worked with Congress to enact a down-payment on this vision by reversing funding cuts to Head Start.

* Preparing America’s Youth to Graduate Ready for College and Careers, by Transforming our High Schools. The President laid out a new vision for America’s high schools, and he has proposed dedicating new resources at the Department of Education to scale up models that personalize learning and focus on college and career exploration for students and he asks Congress to join him.


Back To School Event with FLOTUS


Lets Move Active Schools

Let's Move Active Schools

Why Active Schools?

Regular physical activity helps students succeed in school – and in life!

In addition to keeping kids healthy and strong, being active for 60 minutes each day has been shown to:

  • Increase concentration and focus
  • Improve classroom attendance and behavior
  • Boost academic performance

As the places where kids spend a majority of their time, schools are important places for kids to experience and enjoy being active.  That’s why, in collaboration with the groups below, the First Lady kicked off the Let’s Move! Active Schools program to help schools across the country make quality physical activity a part of every kid’s day.

Let’s Move! Active Schools is a comprehensive program that empowers school champions – P.E. teachers, classroom teachers, principals, administrators, and parents – to create active environments that enable all students to get moving and reach their full potential.

A Let’s Move! Active School provides opportunities in 5 key areas:

  1. Physical Education
  2. Physical Activity During School
  3. Physical Activity Before and After School
  4. Family & Community Involvement
  5. Staff Involvement

Let’s Move! Active Schools provides individual champions with a clear roadmap to meet their goals in the 5 key areas above. Learn more:


Let’s Move!

Friday, September 6th at 1:00 PM ET
First Lady Michelle Obama will be joined by Shaquille O’Neal, Allyson Felix, and Dominique Dawes for a Back to School Event
Orr Elementary in Washington, DC


Let’s Move!



Emergency Preparedness For Adults & Kids


Natl Preparedness Month

Ready is a national public service advertising (PSA) campaign designed to educate and empower Americans to prepare for and respond to emergencies including natural and man-made disasters. The goal of the campaign is to get the public involved and ultimately to increase the level of basic preparedness across the nation.

Ready and its Spanish language version Listo ask individuals to do three key things: (1) build an emergency supply kit, (2) make a family emergency plan and (3) be informed about the different types of emergencies that could occur and their appropriate responses.

The campaign’s messages have been distributed through: television, radio, print, outdoor and Web (PSAs) developed and produced by The Advertising Council; brochures; and Web sites; toll-free phone lines 1-800-BE-Ready and 1-888-SE-Listo; and partnerships with a wide variety of public and private sector organizations.

FEMA app

Get a Kit Build a Kit
Basic Disaster Supplies Kit…… Make a Plan
Plan for Your Risks Research & Publications
Natural Disasters Be Informed
Hurricane App by American Red Cross Replace Your Vital Documents

“Preparedness is an essential element of a resilient and secure Nation. My Administration has made preparedness a top priority, and we are working every day to ensure our country stands ready to respond to any disaster or emergency — from wildfires and hurricanes, to terrorist attacks and pandemic disease. Our goal is to ensure a more resilient Nation — one in which individuals, communities, and our economy can adapt to changing conditions as well as withstand and rapidly recover from disruption due to emergencies.

During National Preparedness Month, we underscore the responsibility of individuals, families, and communities — including the private and nonprofit sectors — to do their part before an emergency. I urge all Americans to take time to prepare an emergency supply kit and a family emergency plan, and to educate themselves about potential disasters. I also ask Americans to work within their own communities to coordinate emergency preparedness efforts. All Americans share this responsibility, and we must all work together to safeguard the Nation from harm.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) supports and promotes citizen education and grassroots preparedness efforts. FEMA’s Ready Campaign provides simple and practical steps that all Americans can take to protect themselves, their families, and their neighbors. Additionally, the Citizen Corps educates, trains, and coordinates volunteer activities that help make our communities safer and better prepared for emergencies. I encourage all Americans to learn more at and

9/4/09 President Barack Obama


Animal Disaster Preparedness:  AnimalsInDisasterFactSheet.pdf Animal information:
* Make A Plan 
* Build A Kit
* Know The Facts
* Get Involved

Learn more: FEMA for KIDS 

Rebuilding Middle-Class Education Security


A-Better-Bargain Graph2



President Obama discusses the importance of keeping college costs down for middle class families on a two day bus tour through Syracuse, Binghamton and Buffalo, NY and Scranton, PA


Thursday, August 22
President Barack Obama delivers remarks
University at Buffalo, Buffalo,, NY

President Barack Obama delivers remarks
Henninger High School, Syracuse, NY


Friday, August 23
President Barack Obama holds a town hall
Binghamton University,  Binghamton, NY

President Barack Obama and Vice President Biden deliver remarks
Lackawanna College, Scranton, PA

Learn about the steps that President Obama is taking to rebuild the American Middle-Class

Student Aid Mobile App:


“Global Symbol” of the Right To Education


July 12, 2013 is Malala Day

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon commemorated July 12 as Malala Day. The day is intended to represent the goal of education for all children.

In honour of the Pakistani child activist Malala Yousafzai, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon extended his support to the young girl and her fight for education, describing her as the “global symbol” of every girl’s right to education.

For more:


At UN, Malala Yousafzai rallies youth to stand up for universal education

12 July 2013

Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani schoolgirl who was shot by the Taliban for attending classes, today addressed hundreds of young people at the United Nations, urging them to use education as a weapon against extremism.

“Let us pick up our books and our pens. They are our most powerful weapons. One teacher, one book, one pen, can change the world,” Ms. Yousafzai said, in an impassioned address to the UN Youth Assembly.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has dubbed today – Ms. Yousafzai’s 16th birthday – ‘Malala Day’ in honour of her heroic stand to ensure education for all. The meeting, which featured nearly 1,000 youth leaders, was addressed by former United Kingdom Prime Minister Gordon Brown, in his capacity as UN Special Envoy for Global Education, Vuk Jeremić, President of the General Assembly, and Ahmad Alhendawi, the Special Envoy on Youth.

Ms. Yousafzai told the gathering that the Taliban’s attack nine months ago changed nothing in her life, except that “weakness, fear and hopelessness died.”

“The extremists were, and they are, afraid of books and pens,” she said. “The power of education frightens them. They are afraid of women.” Urging worldwide action against illiteracy, poverty and terrorism, she said: “Let us pick up our books and pens. They are our most powerful weapons.”

This call to action was delivered just as the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural organization (UNESCO) Education for All Global Monitoring Report, launched a new policy paper spotlighting that globally, the number of children out of school has fallen from 60 million in 2008 to 57 million in 2011. However, 28 million children out of school live in the world’s conflict zones, and more than half of those are women and girls.

For more:


Pres Obama @ U.S. Naval Academy Commencement 2013


US Naval Academy Seal

U.S. Naval Academy Commencement 2013
President Obama – Commencement Speaker
Friday, May 24 @ 10:00 AM ET
Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium , Annapolis, MD


President Barack Obama to Speak at USNA Graduation


President of The United States Barack Obama will speak at the graduation exercises for the U.S.  Naval Academy’s Class of 2013 May 24.

Live Stream:




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