ED Announces First Open Forum on the Administration’s College Value and Affordability Plans

In August 2013, President Barack Obama announced the Administration’s plans and proposals for combating rising college costs and making college affordable for American families.  The President’s plan included three parts: paying for performance; promoting innovation and competition; and ensuring that student debt remains affordable.

As part of an effort to gather public input about these proposals, and in particular the development of a college ratings system, the Department of Education will be hosting open forums around the country.  These open forums are designed to offer the opportunity for members of the public to provide feedback and input on the Department’s plans and proposals, and to hear the input of others.

Today, the Department is pleased to announce that the first of these forums will take place on Wednesday, November 6th, at The California State University-Dominguez Hills in Carson, CA.  The forum will be held in the Loker Student Union, Ballroom C from 9am-3pm PST.

The open forum is free and open to the public.  Individuals desiring to present comments or feedback at an open forum must register by sending an e-mail to collegefeedback@ed.gov with the subject “Open Forum Registration.”  Each participant will be limited to five minutes for comments.  The Department will notify registrants of the location and time slot reserved for them.  An individual may make only one presentation at the open forums. Walk-in registrations will also be accepted for any remaining time slots on a first-come, first-served basis at the Department’s on-site registration table.

For those unable to attend the forum in person, testimony may also be submitted online, by sending an e-mail to collegefeedback@ed.gov, or by mail to 400 Maryland Avenue, SW, room 7E313, Washington, DC 20202-0001.

If you wish to testify and use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) or text telephone (TTY), call the Federal Relay Service (FRS), toll free, at 1-800-877-8339 for more information.

If you have difficulty understanding English you may request language assistance services for Department information that is available to the public.  These language assistance services are available free of charge.  If you need more information about interpretation or translation services, please call 1-800-USA-LEARN (1-800-872-5327) (TTY: 1-800-437-0833), or email us at: Ed.Language.Assistance@ed.gov.

Transcripts from the open forums will be made available on the www.ed.gov Web site for public viewing.

The remaining open forums will be announced soon. Please continue to check the Department of Education’s College Affordability and Completion website, www.ed.gov/college-affordability for updates. Additional information about the President’s plan can be found here.


  1. Forums are meant to arouse public interest but how can I plan to attend when 10 days prior to the event they can not tell me the approximate time? My gosh, it make a difference if you need to take off time from work or travel a couple of hundred miles. Certainly you could determine if it is going to be morning, afternoon or night.
    Also, I tried to send 3 questions but I received an “out of office” notice. Mmmmm, maybe this is telling me something.

  2. Why was Cal State Dominguez Hills selected for the first conference? The state run school is situated is in an underserved, highly industrial area of Los Angeles. It is not considered one of the better performing schools nor is there an infrastructure in place for making change.

    • Joe,
      My son is a graduate student at CSU Dominguez Hills. It is not Ivy League, but unlike many other accredited schools it has competitive admissions and rigorous academics. I am not sure why being in an “underserved, highly industrial area” is relevant, unless those are code words for racial diversity. CSUDH is a great example of a school that has reasonable tuition and expands opportunity. I am very proud that it was chosen to host the first open forum and believe it was well chosen.

  3. I am interested in attending an open form I have several learning disabilities and syndrome which everyone should be aware of

  4. I think holding forums to gather public response and opinion are a great idea. Student debt is something that has increased to extremely large amounts and is seen as something young Americans must “just deal with”. However, the cost of a college education and the thought of being hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt as a young adult looking for a job is offputting to many and is a large reason as to why some people do not go to college. These debts take many years to pay off. To compound this problem, the probability of college grads getting a job directly out of college is decreasing while the debt amount is increasing. Many people do not pay off their college debt until they are middle aged and have worked for several years. If the price of a college education and student loan debts were to decrease, more students could attend college and recieve an education that will help them get a good job. Education is the most important key to success that young adults have now because the competition for jobs is growing. While the President’s plan of “paying for performance; promoting innovation and competition; and ensuring that student debt remains affordable” is a good start, there needs to be checks in place so that colleges and universities do not charge high fees other than tuition, or cut corners for cost saving purposes that diminish the quality of the institution. What young adults need is a great education for a great price!

  5. I agree that college tuition is increasing at an alarming rate. It is limiting students where they can go to school and then limiting them opportunities to excel in life. I currently go to school in my home state, a top university, but that is because Indiana makes it affordable for in-state students. I think more Universities need to look at this problem. It cost in state students in Illinois double what it cost for Indiana students to attend a public university. I think that “paying for performance; promoting innovation and competition; and ensuring that student debt remains affordable” are great ideas but more can be done. Some states have to raise their tuition because they are getting less and less help from the state government. I believe we are moving in the right direction and President Obama is making a good effort but more can be done. What happened to the days when our parents went to college for $3,000 a year? More people are going to college now so education has turned into a marketplace.

  6. As a student I am interested to hear about what they are going to do for not only cost of tuition but also textbooks. This article below explains in details what we have to pay and put up with for required textbooks. Spending an additional $1,200 a year just on books that are “required” but may never pick up. I am also shocked seeing in my school that in 2013 that only one of my professors at my school assigns an online/digital textbook. He assigns Flat World Knowledge textbook that cost $30 compared to $200.

    This article is worth a read.

  7. I am interested in attending the open forum at Cal State Dominguez Hills on November 6th. Do I need to make some sort of reservation, or will this be open to the public on a walk-in basis?

    I do believe this is a terribly important issue, and think that at least part of the solution is to be found in early college, which I know the president is also interested in. However, the definition of “college” is slippery, as college serves different purposes for different people. While I think the P-Tech model makes admirable use of joining our secondary schools to the vocational aspects of our community college system, designing a general academic qualification which our students could earn for admissions and scholarships to university colleges is a proposal of mine of at least equal value to ensuring that the rising generation is not buried in debts that our older generation has been imposing upon them.

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