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Statement from Bob Wise, President of the Alliance for Excellent Education, on Higher Education Proposals

Press Release:

Statement from Bob Wise, President of the Alliance for Excellent Education, on Higher Education Proposals

Washington, DC–Today, the House Education and Labor Committee held a markup on H.R. 3221, the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2009. In response, Bob Wise, president of the Alliance for Excellent Education and former governor of West Virginia, issued the following statement:

“Without a doubt, helping more individuals access higher education and earn a certificate or degree is an important first step in getting the nation’s economy back on track. But for President Obama to put the United States on a path to leading the world in the proportion of adults with a college degree by 2020, he must address the more than one million students who drop out every year and the approximately half of diploma recipients who graduate unprepared for college.

“While students who graduate from high school fully prepared for college spend their first semester earning credits toward their degree, the other half is taking remedial courses on material they should have learned in high school. Not only are students in remedial courses less likely to earn their degree, they also cost the nation $1.4 billion every year.

“And while this legislation would provide welcome relief to the nation’s college students and dedicate $10 billion toward deficit reduction, it is important to remember that deficit reduction isn’t as good for the economy as dropout reduction. If the students who dropped out of the Class of 2008 had graduated, the nation’s economy would have benefited from an additional $319 billion in income over their lifetimes.

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The Alliance for Excellent Education is a Washington, DC-based policy, research, and advocacy organization that works to make every child a graduate, prepared for postsecondary education and success in life.  For more information about the Alliance for Excellent Education, please visit

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