The White House announced Friday that the president will visit three colleges in New York before capping off a two-day campus bus tour at Lackawanna College on Friday Aug. 23.
As part of his summer effort to pivot the national policy conversation back to the economy, Obama has mentioned improving higher education for middle class families. In a speech in late July, Obama discussed the need to rein in the rising college costs.
"Today more students are earning their degree, but soaring costs saddle them with unsustainable debt," Obama said at a community college in Illinois, according to the transcript. "Families and taxpayers can't just keep paying more and more and more into an undisciplined system where costs just keep going up and up and up. We'll never have enough loan money. We'll never have enough grant money to keep up with costs that are going up five, six, seven percent a year. We've got to get more out of what we pay for."
Lackawanna College is a private, two-year school with a focus on teaching practical vocational skills. Obama is likely to make the case that not every student needs to attend a four-year university, and that schools like Lackawanna that prepare students for specific, good-paying jobs should be encouraged.
Earlier this month Obama signed into law a bill to lower interest rates on student loans. The bill was a rare last minute compromise in Congress to reset the caps on student loans which will now be tied to the financial markets. The law lowers interest rates for students, which had gone up on July 1 from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent.
Obama said at the bill signing that it was a first step to helping middle class families pay for college, hinting that he'd be rolling out a larger strategy to address college costs.
The White House has not yet made available the time of Obama's visit to Lackawanna College and whether it will be open to the public.