Tracing the Evolution of Romney’s Position on Pell Grants

In the second presidential debate, on Tuesday at Hofstra University, in New York, the Republican candidate Mitt Romney’s statements in favor of increasing Pell Grants surprised some reporters. The New York Times’s Richard Pérez-Peña called Mr. Romney’s assertion that he wanted “to make sure we keep our Pell Grant program growing” a “new position for him.”

Mr. Romney’s previous remarks indicate that he has been moving gradually toward that position over the course of the campaign.

  • During the Rep…

Youngest Voters Favor Obama but Are Uneasy With Politics, Poll Finds

On the eve of the next presidential election, young Americans are showing far less enthusiasm for voting—and much greater skepticism about the political process—than they did four years ago, according to a new poll from Harvard University’s Institute of Politics.

Nearly two-thirds of the 18- to 29-year-olds in the poll, released on Wednesday, said they were registered to vote. Fifty-two percent said they thought President Obama would be re-elected, while 15 percent thought he would lose. They ov…


In Debate, Romney Voices Support for Expanding Pell Grant Program

In the second presidential debate, on Tuesday night, the Republican nominee Mitt Romney offered some of his most explicit support yet for the Pell Grant program, while President Obama touted several of his administration’s achievements that affect higher education.

The first question in the town hall-style debate came from 20-year-old Jeremy Epstein, a junior at Adelphi University. Addressing Mr. Romney, Mr. Epstein asked about his job prospects as a college student who will graduate in 2014. Mr…


Presidential Candidates Are Urged to Strengthen Support for Public Colleges

The State Higher Education Executive Officers, a nonpartisan association, has written an open letter asking President Obama and his Republican rival, Mitt Romney, to strengthen federal support for public colleges.

In the letter, the association urges the candidates to sustain the amount of federal money for research as well as need-based student aid.

It’s not all about the money, though. State higher-education leaders also want the next president to continue to emphasize college completion as a …


In Debate, Obama and Romney Clash Over Who Would Do More for Education

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and President Obama wave at the start of Wednesday night’s debate at the U. of Denver (Reuters/Rick Wilking/Landov).

In the first presidential debate of this fall’s campaign, which focused on domestic policy, President Obama and his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, sparred over their tax plans, the federal deficit, Wall Street regulation, and health care.

Throughout the 90-minute debate Wednesday evening at the University of Denver, both candidates…


Tracking the Debate on Twitter: Southern Cal Tool Mines Political Sentiments in Real Time

Twenty-five thousands tweets per minute. That was roughly the volume of campaign-related Twitter messages posted during the height of the political conventions, according to researchers at the University of Southern California. Tonight’s presidential debate will unleash another Twitter tsunami.

So how do you make sense of it all?

A team of social scientists and computer scientists at the USC Annenberg Innovation Lab has developed technology that attempts to automatically track the sentiments of …


In U.S. Senate Contest in Mass., Candidate’s Academic Post Is an Issue

Titles in academe can be a tricky issue, raising a host of complicated questions about identity, status, and etiquette.

But in one of the most closely watched Senate races this election season, the question of how to refer to a candidate who is also an academic is inherently a political one.

Elizabeth Warren (Photo by David Shankbone via Flickr/CC)

Elizabeth Warren, a professor at Harvard Law School who is running for the U.S. Senate in Massachusetts, was asked at a debate on Tuesday night wheth…


Romney Says He Would Not Deport Illegal Students Who Hold Special Permits

Ahead of Wednesday’s first presidential debate, Mitt Romney has said that he would not repeal President Obama’s new policy granting a two-year hold on deportation for many young illegal immigrants, The Denver Post reports. After months of refusing to answer the question of how he would deal with the estimated 1.7 million young people who qualify for the Obama administration’s policy, Mr. Romney has now said that he would honor the special work permits until he could enact permanent reform.

“The …


New Obama Ads Tout Goal of Cutting Tuition and Attack Romney on Pell Grants

As part of a two-minute campaign advertisement released on Thursday, President Obama outlines an economic plan, called “a new economic patriotism,” that includes his pledge to reduce college tuition and expand federal student aid.

Speaking directly to a camera, Mr. Obama says that the United States will remain competitive by ”training two million Americans with the job skills they need at our community colleges, cutting the growth of tuition in half, and expanding student aid so more Americans …


In New Ad for Hispanic Voters, Romney Hits Obama on Soaring Tuition and Student Debt

Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign released a Spanish-language ad on Friday that blames President Obama and Democrats for rising tuition and high student-loan debt.

“Four years ago, Hispanics hoped Democrats would improve education,” the ad’s narrator says. “The reality is that more than 75 percent of the population thinks that college is not accessible, now that tuition costs have increased 25 percent under the Democrats and student debt is a trillion dollars.”

The advertisement uses footage …