• When asked what he would do about rising college costs if elected: “It would be popular for me to stand up and say I’m going to give you government money to pay for your college, but I’m not going to promise that. Don’t just go to one that has the highest price. Go to one that has a little lower price where you can get a good education. And hopefully you’ll find that. And don’t expect the government to forgive the debt that you take on.”
• Created a merit-based scholarship that gives full tuition to state universities or colleges to the top 25 percent of high school students graduating from public schools.
• Suggested that for-profit colleges are a potential solution to student debt (declined to comment on financial support Romney’s campaign office has received from executives of for-profit colleges).
• Wants to reduce federal aid for as well as shift money to schools that control tuition costs.
• Wants to make community colleges into community career centers.
• Proposed requiring that debt collectors let student-loan borrowers make payments based on what they can afford instead of the debt amount.
• Expanded the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which gave an additional $17 billion over two years for Pell Grants.
• Proposed 2013 budget would increase the Education Departmen spending by $69.8 billion (a 2.5 percent raise).
Rick Santorum (Recently withdrew):
• Voted no on shifting $11 billion from corporate tax loopholes to education (2006). A yes vote would’ve restored education program cuts for vocational education, increased the maximum Pell Grant scholarship, increased future math and science teacher student loan forgiveness.
• Voted no on spending $48 billion of tax cuts on education and debt reductions (2001).
• Called colleges “indoctrination mills.”
• Said he would support for-profit colleges if elected.