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Obama Calls In College Presidents to Talk About Affordability

President Obama is meeting with college presidents and higher education leaders today at the White House to talk about college affordability, access, and success, Inside Higher Education and UPI are reporting. U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan is also expected.

The guest list is reported to include:

Francisco Cigarroa, chancellor of the University of Texas System
William E. (Brit) Kirwan, chancellor of the University System of Maryland
Holden Thorp, chancellor of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Nancy Zimpher, chancellor of the State University of New York
Freeman Hrabowski III, president of the University of Maryland Baltimore County
F. King Alexander, president of California State University, Long Beach
Thomas Snyder, president of Ivy Tech Community College in Indiana
Jared L. Cohon, president of Carnegie Mellon University
Larry Shinn, president of Berea College
Robert Mendenhall, president of Western Governors University
Jane Wellman, founder and executive director of the Delta Project on Postsecondary Costs, Productivity and Accountability
Jamie Merisotis, president of the Lumina Foundation

The gathering underscores the administration's likely focus on the issue of college access in the coming election year. Today's meeting comes on the heels of the topic being the focus of Sec. Duncan's remarks last week and a subcommittee hearing in the house. (See last week's post.) It will be interesting to see what is made public after the private meeting and what pressure the president can have on the growing concerns over price and efficiency in higher education.

For one perspective of the limited federal role in college pricing, check out this analysis by public-policy consultant Arthur Hauptman in Inside Higher Ed today.

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