Dean unveils higher education plan

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(Host) Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean has unveiled a plan to make higher education more affordable for many low and moderate income families.

Under Dean’s plan, students would have access to $10,000 a year for post secondary education. The money would be made available as grants and loans – the exact mix would be determined by a family’s income level.

Dean says the country has a national high school graduation rate of only 52 percent because many families don’t believe they can afford to send their children to college.

(Dean) What it does is tell kids before they go to high school there’s a reason to go to high school and work hard when you’re in high school… We want to go to the eighth graders and explain to them and their families what their possibilities are 68% of all families in America or 69% do not know how they’re going to get their kids through college financially. They can’t figure it out and it scares the daylights out of them. What we want to do is show them that this is something that works for them, that is financially possible.

(Host) Dean says the cost of the higher education program would be $6 billion a year.

Dean is also proposing a $1 billion expansion of the federal Americorps program, a program that the Bush Administration has scaled back in recent months.

Dean says both proposals can be paid for by rescinding all of the president’s tax cuts.

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