In a rare move, the U.S. Department of Education announced that it would make college more affordable by requiring institutions to offer more courses that include a mandatory first year of college.
According to the Department, a “comprehensive” college degree will cost $28,000 to $35,000 more than a “traditional” degree in 2019, and $33,000 or more for a four-year degree.
If you or someone you know needs help, the Department said you can call 1-800-424-5423.
Students and their families can enroll online at the Department’s online college portal.
The move comes after a similar push by the Obama administration in 2013 to make college and related programs more affordable.
A group of former students, alumni and professors wrote to the Trump administration in 2015 urging the government to “use your authority to help students, parents, and the broader economy” by mandating a college degree for students, and by requiring that “all college degrees be offered at a minimum of a four year college.”
The Trump administration, which is working to cut costs at the Education Department, has also been moving to make higher education more competitive.
At a news conference Monday, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos said the Trump government was “trying to take advantage of what we have in the private sector.”
“I don’t want to give the impression that we’re not going to do something that’s a good deal,” DeVos said.
“We’re going to make it a lot more competitive.”
The move is one of several steps in the Trump Administration’s effort to improve college affordability.
Last week, the Trump Justice Department announced it was opening an investigation into colleges for “unfair and deceptive practices” that included charging students more than their fair share of tuition.
In July, DeVos and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos announced they had reached a $1.8 billion settlement with a group of students, faculty and alumni over a school’s alleged use of Title IX to unfairly discriminate against women.
“Today’s announcement is a welcome step toward ending discrimination and helping students graduate with a degree,” said Betsy DeVos in a statement. More: