I think I posted a variation of this on another thread.
The major problem with traditional efforts at making college "affordable" (i.e. making loans easily available) is that it drives up the cost of tuition.
Obama is currently proposing to reform student loan repayment so that repayment is capped at 10% of the graduate's income, and the remainder owed after 20 years is forgiven. In other circumstances, this might drive down the cost of tuition, because it effectively caps the amount lenders are going to receive in return for making the loans available. And lenders generally want to make money. However, since the federal government is the lender in this scenario, and their intention is that as many people go to college as want to, it seems more likely that it will just create a big bubble.
My proposal: instead of capping the amount students will have to repay (at 10% of income, for 20 years) regardless of what the school's tuition is, why not prohibit schools from charging more in tuition than 10% of the annual income of that school's average graduate, times twenty years? That way, the government can further its objective of making college affordable without putting themselves at the mercy of what schools decide to charge, and what schools can decide to charge is tied to their students' prospects for success upon graduation.
What do you think?