Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama, in a speech on October 16 in Londonderry, New Hampshire, said of his Republican opponent, "Sen. McCain's top economic adviser actually said the other day that they have no plan to invest in college affordability because we can't have a giveaway to every special interest."
Get the facts!
McCain campaign spokesmen have said at least twice in recent weeks that he has no specific plan for new spending to defray the cost of college. In a "Good Morning America" interview on September 3, Douglas Holtz-Eakin, McCain's chief economic policy adviser said, "No, we don't have a big expansion. We want to make sure student loan programs work effectively. This summer, for example, a lot of lending got cut back because of the credit crunch. We have solutions to those problems."
An Associated Press story published this month about the college education policies of Sens. Obama and McCain said both men have said that "college education should be affordable to anyone." However, it said there ardifferences in how both men would address the issue.
The story quoted Holtz-Eakin as saying "We don't have any new college proposals in terms of massive expansions of funding. There is a budgetary reality; we have enormous spending pressures already. It would be irresponsible to go to every interest group and promise them lots of money. The other campaign does that. We don't."
McCain's Web site has a section spelling out his higher education policy. It calls for "simplifying" tax benefits that would ensure "a lower tax burden" for families which it says would help them send their children to college. McCain calls for simplifying the financial aid process to help students get aid and fixing problems with student loan programs.
Sen. Obama has proposed a yearly $4,000 tuition credit for students who perform public service.
At the October 15 debate, Obama stated his tuition credit plan, and McCain stressed the need for making student loans available for prospective students. "We need to give them a repayment schedule that they can meet. We need to have full student loan program for in-state tuition. And we certainly need to adjust the certain loan eligibility to inflation."
A campaign spokesman for McCain did not respond to messages seeking further clarification of McCain's plans.
Verdict: True, but incomplete. While McCain has no plan directly addressing college costs, his campaign maintains that his tax plans and improving student loan programs will make it easier to pay for college.