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Posted on Mon, Jan 23, 2012 : 8:17 p.m.

Obama to address college affordability in University of Michigan speech

By Staff

President Barack Obama will focus on college affordability when he speaks Friday at the University of Michigan's Ann Arbor campus, according to an Associated Press report.


President Barack Obama gives the 2010 spring commencement address at the University of Michigan. file photo

Obama will speak at the U-M Al Glick Field House on Friday. A source familiar with the plan told that the speech is expected to take place at around 9:30 a.m.

U-M President Mary Sue Coleman said Monday that while the school has been talking to the White House, the event had not been officially confirmed until later in the day.

She issued this statement: "We look forward to again welcoming President Obama to the University of Michigan. As a public research university, we share his commitment to a strong future for our state and our nation. We are particularly honored that he will visit following his State of the Union address."

Recently, Coleman sent a letter to Obama asking him to prioritize funding for public universities.

"Higher education is a public good currently lacking public support," Coleman wrote in the letter. "There is no stronger trigger for rising costs at public universities and colleges than declining state support."

The president's visit will come three days after his State of the Union address on Tuesday, when he is expected to focus on the U.S. economy. His speech will feature the themes of manufacturing, clean energy, education and American values, the AP reported.

In addition to his Ann Arbor stop, Obama will promote his ideas in four other states key to his re-election bid: Iowa, Arizona, Nevada and Colorado.

The Ann Arbor event will be Obama's second speech at the university since assuming office. Obama gave a May 2010 commencement speech at the Big House.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.



Tue, Jan 24, 2012 : 11:36 p.m.

Basically a prop up the candidate, post SOU, visit to a friendly location and pitching woo to a group of key supporters of 2008. The only problem is most of those key supporters graduated expecting hope and change but found unemployment and student loans. His core support in this group is down 12-15%. <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>


Tue, Jan 24, 2012 : 8:41 p.m.

I like Mary Sue, but she's living in a dream world if she thinks the old model of the state or federal government being able to support public universities is sustainable. The costs of running a school like MIchigan have gone up far faster than inflation over the last 20 years and way beyond the growth (or even decline) in state revenues. Where does she think the state is going to get the money? And how does she think that Obama can affect that? The Federal Government is even more broke than the state. With the U-M sitting on a multi-billion dollar endowment and charging huge tuition for out of state students, I doubt she's going to get too many people in Lansing or Washington to listen.


Tue, Jan 24, 2012 : 5:40 p.m.

The first thing you need to realize is that colleges and universities are &quot;BUSINESSES&quot;. If they can charge more and people will pay then they will do so. So in part the costs of an education rise based on the ability of people to pay for it. As a result there are two huge problems that must be confronted. The first is the college loan program which is well intentioned but in reality is a direct cause of rising costs. If loans weren't available or severely reduced then the costs of an education would be held check. It's just basic economics, supply &amp; demand. The second problem is the salaries paid to professors and administrators. The professors in particular are paid exorbitant salaries they could get no where else. How much do you think an English professor would make if they could find a job in the business world?

Lac Court Orilles

Tue, Jan 24, 2012 : 3:28 p.m.

Make a wish: I hope that hypocrites Governor Rick Snyder and Senator Majority Leader Randy Richardville will not defile the President's presence with their attendance. These two have done their absolute best to increase tuition for struggling middle class students who attend public universities in Michigan.


Tue, Jan 24, 2012 : 2:59 p.m.

I believe, from attending OLLI lectures, that the state support of college cost was 75% of total in 1970. It is 25% today. Some fact checking might be useful here.


Tue, Jan 24, 2012 : 2:31 p.m.

Really now, who paid Obama's tuition since he never had a real job?


Tue, Jan 24, 2012 : 1:25 p.m.

Oh neat. Is he also going to address the incredibly egregious salaries of top University of Michigan executives?


Tue, Jan 24, 2012 : 1:19 p.m.

Coleman states &quot;Higher education is a public good currently lacking public support&quot;. No one would argue that higher education is a good thing but to state it lacks public support is ludicrous and she should be embarrassed for such a statement. The University obtains all of its money from the public and the fact the University mismanages it, is not the public's fault. There is a concept called a budget and the University's administration should take a refresher course in economics and learn to operate in a fiscally responsible manner. Considering that a significant portion of the money the University receives is from Michigan taxpayers who can't afford to send their kids to this University reinforces their arrogance and irresponsibility. The money the University receives from the public is not an all you can eat buffet. Ms. Coleman needs to put her big girl pants on and put the University's spending on a diet in the same way as the rest of the "public".

char jenson

Tue, Jan 24, 2012 : 1:08 p.m.

Universities and Colleges in Michigan need to lower fees, they are all greedy. But the fact is You have to pay that student loan off, it never goes away, make sure you can pay for you dregree it might be 100,000 are you will to give up everything for that. Going to college does not mean you just got a job, be real. you took the chance and wasted money on college like you would a lotto ticket. Parents who sign for kids loans are nuts you wreak your credit 1st off, cosigners credit is wreaked if the student doesn't make a pmt and parent loans at the bank-students don;t have to pay you back for those, who ever SS# is on the loan is the one legaly to pay back the loan.You can't file bankrupscy on them, these loans haunt you til paid in full, deferments just pile more intrest til you just want to kick yourslef for ever going to college. JUST KNOW WHAT DEBT YOUR GETTING INTO BEFORE YOU SIGN YOUR LIFE AWAY


Tue, Jan 24, 2012 : 4:23 p.m.

Obama is proposing legislation that allows for discharge of student loans in some instances of bankruptcy.


Tue, Jan 24, 2012 : 10:52 a.m.

College affordability should begin with looking at the compensation of faculty. As these costs continue unabated families and students absorb higher tution. The pass thru costs must end. I doubt Obama will address that. <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>

Silly Sally

Tue, Jan 24, 2012 : 10:28 a.m.

Mary Sue wants more public money so she can continue spending. High administrative salaries, huge building projects, yes, including dorms, that are much more fancy that anything that was done 30 years ago. No wonder college costs more now. Much of the inflated cost has been hidden by loans Universities do not compete just on academics. Today, they compete on the quality of the campus ambiance, and that can be a very expensive contest to compete in.


Tue, Jan 24, 2012 : 9:14 a.m.

I like Obama, but he had been in head lock for some time and can't seem to get ahead in his position. I voted for him to do what he wanted to do, but as soon as the republicans ruled the house and senate the have for got that we the people voted to have him do what he needed to do. I like Obama but I really don't think he's can make a move with out being scrutinized for each and every step. On the other hand the only logical choice is Paul, because he has been in the fight to keep the US from going down, but no one wants to listen to him either, they want corporate power over government, and war as the solution for our control of the world. I belie Jim Morrison from the Doord said it best, &quot;We want the world and we want it NOW&quot;, thats all, bye.


Tue, Jan 24, 2012 : 10:54 a.m.

This just in. The 2010 election was a rjection Obama and his big government fetish.


Tue, Jan 24, 2012 : 1:52 a.m.



Tue, Jan 24, 2012 : 1:49 a.m.