LSU president invited to White House to discuss college access
LSU President F. King Alexander will be among the more than 100 college and university presidents from across the country who will partake in a discussion on higher education access hosted by President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama at the White House on Thursday. The event will focus on new actions universities can take to increase college opportunity, according to an LSU news release issued today. "Access to a college education has never been more important," says Alexander in a prepared statement. "If nothing changes, the United States will fall to 19th in college completion rates among Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, or OECD, countries." Inside Higher Ed quotes Obama as saying of the event: "I've got a phone that allows me to convene Americans from every walk of life—nonprofits, businesses, the private sector, universities—to try to bring more and more Americans together around what I think is a unifying theme: making sure that this is a country where if you work hard, you can make it." LSU says it is already "a leader in making a college degree accessible and affordable," noting that its tuition and fees are 17% below the anticipated Southern Regional Education Board's peer average of $9,476 and lower than the national public four-year college average tuition, which is expected to top $9,000 this year. The White House visit will not be Alexander's first, but it will be his first as LSU president. According to an LSU feature story published shortly after Alexander was named the new president last year, he was also invited to the White House two years ago to meet with Obama and provide counsel on higher education policy. —Staff report
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