President Obama delivered his pitch for college affordability at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor on Friday morning, making it very clear that the best way to reach young voters is to speak about the issues they care about most.
"I want everybody here to do well," Obama told the crowd. The president introduced a new plan to monitor colleges, and proposed an initiative to penalize state colleges that raise their tuition every year. "We are putting colleges on notice—you can’t assume you’ll just jack up tuition every year," he said to loud cheers from the students and staff at the university.
The president went on to outline plans for a Richard Cordray-driven "college report card" that he compared to the type of facts you'd look for when buying a car. The "report card" would reveal details like alumni performance and tuition increases per year to see how each college stacks up. He also encouraged the students to make their voices heard to Congress about a scheduled hike on student loan interest rates on July 1.
When not talking about the issues closest to college students' hearts, Obama reiterated some of the initiatives he's been stumping for recently: tax cuts for the middle class, rebuking the claims of "class warfare," promoting American-made energy, and repeating his Ford-esque "America Built to Last" catchphrase. Somehow he connected those seemingly disparate topics into a message this particular audience could understand: All of these things are totally dependent on college students.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.