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Colleges respond to President's challenges

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With so jobs at a premium, higher education is more important than ever. But many Americans are trying to figure out how to pay for college. In last night's State of the Union, President Obama put an emphasis on bringing those costs down.

"In the United States of America, no one should go broke because they chose to go to college," he said.

The President talked about capping annual student loan payments at 10 percent of a person's income. He also wants loans to be forgiven after 20 years of paying them back or after ten years if a student chooses a career in public service.

He also said colleges have to help keep costs down. UNCW says it is ahead of the game as it tries to combat falling revenues while keeping standards high.

"We've taken tremendous reductions in our state appropriations over the past couple years," UNCW Vice Chancellor for Business Affairs Charles Maimone said. "Our proposal for next year is actually only a two-percent increase in tuition."

President Obama also urged the Senate to follow the House in passing a bill that would give more than $9 billion to revamp community colleges. At Cape Fear Community College, the funds would expand programs to accommodate more students. CFCC president Eric McKeithan says its nice to get attention from the Oval Office.

"This is the first time community colleges have been seen as a major player in the nation's economy and the well being of its citizens," McKeithan said.

Trying to figure out how to pay for college now? The College Foundation of North Carolina will hold an information session on financial February 9 at 6 p.m. It's at the New Hanover Library's main branch on Chestnut Street in Downtown Wilmington.

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Community Colleges

"This is the first time community colleges have been seen as a major player in the nation's economy and the well being of its citizens," McKeithan said.

>Fine...just keep the illegals out of the classroom.

College Costs

The President actually seemed to encourage students not to pay back their loans (forgive them after 20 years), and to enter into public service(government) jobs. This is a radical approach to education and personally I feel it is the wrong way to go. Continued education is available to anyone in this country who really wants to pursue it. I know, I've been there, and did it on my own.