1:01pm

Wed October 26, 2011
Politics

President Pushes Student Loan Plan in Colorado

President Obama was on his way back to Washington D.C. Wednesday afternoon  after wrapping up a three state western swing at the University of Colorado at Denver.  There he touted his stalled jobs bill and offered more details on his plan to give students more flexibility with their financial aid debt.

The season’s first major snow blanketing the campus in white and slush didn’t seem to bother the hundreds of Obama supporters and students who had been waiting outside for hours in the chill.  It also didn’t seem to affect the President who took the podium almost twenty minutes earlier than scheduled.

 

"I don’t know where else you can go sledding on Halloween," Mr. Obama joked.

But the President then quickly got down to business, and politics, in a roughly thirty minute speech where he laid blame on the grid-locked Congress for not passing his stalled jobs bill.  He also offered more details on his student loan plan which, among other things, would allow students to combine their public and private loan debt into a single government loan.  

"We’re going to make it easier for you to have one payment a month, at a better interest rate, and this won’t cost taxpayers a dime," Mr. Obama said. "But it will save you money and it will save you time."

Plans to bring relief to students saddled with loan debt are of particular interest on campuses like CU, where state funding has shrunk to less than 5%. 

Many students like Mahala Greer, who introduced the president, have come to depend more and more on financial aid and loans as tuition costs rise.

"So many of us struggle to repay our educational debt simply because we are not on a fast-track to a six figure salary," Greer said.

Local Republicans, meanwhile, dismissed the president’s policy speech as nothing more than a campaign stop. 

This story was updated from an earlier version.