President Obama Begins Bus Tour; Scranton Stop Friday

President Obama Begins Bus Tour; Scranton Stop Friday

A two-day bus tour that will bring President Barack Obama to Scranton Friday began in Buffalo, New York on Thursday morning.
The city of Scranton is getting ready for a presidential visit.

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden are both expected to discuss education at a stop at the Student Union Building of Lackawanna College Friday night.

The speeches are expected to begin just before 5:00 PM.

The event in Scranton is the final stop on a two-day bus tour for the president. It began Thursday in Buffalo, New York and gave us a good indication of what the president will speak about.

"It is time to stop subsidizing schools that are not producing good results and reward good schools that deliver for American students and our future," President Obama said in Buffalo.

As he got a lot of applause, President Obama laid out his plan to combat the soaring cost of college.

It's the a similar message to the one he's expected to give in Scranton.

I think it's an honor, you know?" Lackawanna College first-year student Zaquis Tillman said. "He's the president. Not too many people get to meet the president so I think it's a blessing."

The president unveiled plans Thursday for a new college ratings system by 2015. He says it will identify colleges providing the best value.

According to the president, ratings would be based on three things:
1. Access, like the percentage of students getting Pell grants
2. Affordability, including the cost of tuition and loan debt
3. Outcome, such as graduation rates and graduate earnings.

"It's an interesting idea. It would maybe help people who are on the edge and can't afford it to determine if it might be an option that is good for them," Margie McCarty of Carbondale said.

Outside Lackawanna College, parents and students reacted to the president's idea.

They say something has to be done about the high cost of education because statistics show the average student who takes out loans to pay for school graduates with more than $26,000 in debt.

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