U.S. Deputy Secretary of Education Jim Shelton to Host Open Forum at Louisiana State University on the Administration’s Efforts to Address College Value and Affordability

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On Thursday, Nov. 21, U.S. Deputy Secretary of Education Jim Shelton will host an open forum at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge to gather public input on the administration’s proposals to address college value and affordability.

Announced last August by President Obama, the proposal includes developing a college rating system that provides useful information for students to compare and select colleges, while also encouraging institutions to improve. The forum at Louisiana State University – as well as three others held around the country earlier this month — give members of the public an opportunity to provide feedback on the Education Department’s proposal – especially the rating system — and to hear additional ideas for promoting college access, affordability, and outcomes.

The forum will be held from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. CST and is open to the public.

In addition to the forum, the Department and the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities will host roundtable discussions with HBCU presidents and students at Southern University in Baton Rouge to gather input on what is most important from their perspective in developing the college rating system. Joining Shelton at the roundtables are George Cooper, executive director of the Initiative and Ivory Toldson, its deputy director.

On Friday, Nov. 22, Deputy Under Secretary Jamienne Studley will host a series of roundtables at Baton Rouge Community College to gather input from students, faculty and administrators, enrollment and financial aid staff, and community college leadership about what they think the impact of the reforms and rating system will have on community and technical colleges.

Individuals interested in presenting comments or feedback at the open forum should register by e-mailing [email protected], with the subject line "Open Forum Registration." Walk-in testimony will also be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. Time slots remain available.

For those unable to attend the forums in person, their ideas may also be submitted online, by sending an e-mail to [email protected], or by mail to the U.S. Department of Education headquarters in Washington. Transcripts from the open forums will be made available on the Department's college affordability Web site, www.ed.gov/college-affordability. More information on the President's plan to improve college value and affordability is available on this site, as well as additional details on upcoming open forums, town hall meetings, and roundtable discussions across the country.