There is ample evidence that student loan programs have directly contributed to exploding tuition costs and the “higher education bubble”.

However, in his State of the Union address, President Obama plans to add more fuel to that fire. Via The Daily Caller: Obama suggests government will control college tuition costs somehow (video at link). During his address, Obama said:

“Most young people will need some higher education. It’s a simple fact: the more education you have, the more likely you are to have a job and work your way into the middle class. But today, skyrocketing costs price way too many young people out of a higher education, or saddle them with unsustainable debt.

“Through tax credits, grants, and better loans, we have made college more affordable for millions of students and families over the last few years. But taxpayers cannot continue to subsidize the soaring cost of higher education. Colleges must do their part to keep costs down, and it’s our job to make sure they do.”

An analysis of the address by Inside Higher Ed write Libby A. Nelson offers further details:

President Obama on Tuesday night called for major changes to the criteria accreditors use to evaluate colleges, asking Congress to either require accreditors to take college prices and educational value into account or to create an alternative system based on “performance and results.” Either could mark a significant shift in how the federal government judges higher education quality and eligibility for financial aid programs.

The few sentences on higher education in the State of the Union speech hit many of the same themes as last year, when Obama first told colleges they were “on notice” and would have to either control rising costs or lose federal money. “Taxpayers cannot continue to subsidize higher and higher and higher costs of higher education,” the president said Tuesday night. “Colleges must do their part to keep their costs down, and it’s our job to make sure they do.”

…Rather than trying to push that agenda through changes in campus-based aid programs (such as federal work study and the Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant), which make up only a small part of all financial aid for college students, the president is now calling for Congress to force accreditors to play a bigger role in measuring the cost and value of higher education and distributing financial aid accordingly.