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Research paper topic: State of the Union Address

On Tuesday, January 20, 2015, President Obama delivered his sixth State of the Union Address. In the speech the president listed the accomplishments of his presidency so far and outlined his agenda for the next two years. According to the president, the nation had overcome years of war and economic crisis and is now ready to “turn the page.”

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and Speaker of the House John Boehner (R) watch as U.S. President Barack Obama delivers his State of the Union address. (Credit: Larry Downing, Reuters)

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and Speaker of the House John Boehner (R) watch as U.S. President Barack Obama delivers his State of the Union address. (Credit: Larry Downing, Reuters)

Future endeavors aimed at reviving the middle class include continuing efforts to raise the minimum wage, achieving gender pay equity, and closing the income inequality gap. Political history and strategy are always evolving, making them good research paper topics. Read more

Community college and rising college tuition and fees research paper topic

On Friday, January 9, 2015, President Obama announced his proposal to make a community college education free to anyone who attends at least half-time and maintains a 2.5 grade point average. Average college tuition and fees have increased at an annual rate of 7.1 percent each year since 1981.

President Obama announces proposal for free community college education for all. (Credit: Carolyn Kaster / Associated Press)

President Obama announces proposal for free community college education for all. (Credit: Carolyn Kaster / Associated Press)

If passed, the proposal would save each student about $3,800 per year in college costs. This might be a good time to think about a research paper on college tuition costs.

High college costs

It’s no secret that the cost of a college education has exploded over the past thirty years. This high cost is rapidly placing a degree beyond the reach of many Americans at a critical time when more education is needed, not less.

Robert B. Archibald and David H. Feldman explained how rising college costs exhibit the same market behavior as other industries in their book, Why Does College Cost So Much? available at Questia.

According to the authors, the main culprit is economic growth itself. Forces that have pushed the cost of college tuition higher include the changing wage structure of the U.S. economy. Education is a service industry and like other service industries its costs have increased. These costs are not as easy to control as those in manufacturing or agriculture where technological advancements have lowered costs of production.

The authors refer to this as the “cost disease” phenomenon. They say that the artisan nature of higher education accounts for the continuing rise in costs. It relies on a highly educated workforce. Although the technology of distance education could lower costs, people value the student-teacher interaction in an on-site classroom. As long as this is the case, costs of an education will continue to rise faster than inflation.

“If our policy goals are built around increasing access to higher education so that a greater fraction of the population can acquire the skills that come with a high quality education, then we must build those policies with a clear understanding of the broader social and economic forces that limit access,” Archibald and Feldman said.

President Obama proposal

Perry Bacon, Jr. covered the story, “Inside Obama’s Proposal to Make Community College Free and Universal,” for NBCNews.com on January 9, 2015.

According to Bacon, the President’s plan is built on a model used in Tennessee and in the city of Chicago. Under the plan, the federal government and states would contribute to paying the entire cost of two years at a community college.

It is estimated that 9 million people would benefit from the plan, which would save each student about $3,800 each year in college costs.

“It would probably benefit middle-class students more than the very poorest, who qualify for federal Pell grants that usually cover the cost of community college. People of any age would be eligible for the program,” Bacon said.

Community college tuition plan

Considering the fact that the U.S. Congress is primarily Republican now, what are the chances that the president can push this plan through? According to Devin Dwyer in his January 9, 2015, article for ABCNews.com, “Obama’s Free Community College Idea May Be Hard Sell.”

Both the Republican congress and the states would have to get on board with a plan that would cost an estimated $60 billion over ten years. The costs would be split with the federal government paying three-fourth and the states paying one-fourth of the cost.

So far the response has been less than supportive. Republican Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee opposes the plan because it involves the federal government. He prefers that states champion their own programs.

“Still, the notion ‘free’ community college is tantalizing to many. Democrats envision a system akin to free the nation’s public high school system which is funded jointly by state and federal governments,” Dwyer observed.

President Obama has been touring the country and talking about his proposal on college campuses. The White House said that the president will describe more details in his State of the Union address on January 20 and in his budget request which is due on February 2.

You can read more about higher education and community colleges at Questia.

How are you handling the rising costs of college? Tell us in the comments.

US government policy toward Cuba for your research paper

Since 1962, the U.S. has maintained a Cuban embargo in an attempt to force the government of Cuba to adopt a representative democracy for the Cuban people.

Protestors wave Cuban and American flags in the Little Havana neighborhood of Miami, Fla. on April 25, 2000. (Credit: Charles Trainor Jr, Miami Herald)

Protestors wave Cuban and American flags in the Little Havana neighborhood of Miami, Fla. on April 25, 2000. (Credit: Charles Trainor Jr, Miami Herald)

On Wednesday, December 17, 2014, President Obama issued a statement saying that U.S. government policy would change toward Cuba and diplomatic relations would expand. The unfolding events will make a great subject for a research paper. Read more

Effective research on Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

Signs in the big march with unions in solidarity with OWS. (Courtesy of David Shankbone)

Signs in the big march with unions in solidarity with OWS. (Courtesy of David Shankbone)

Since disclosing the disappointing enrollment numbers of Americans signing up for health insurance in the first month of HealthCare.gov, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has come under even greater fire than before. President Obama is facing criticism not just from the GOP, but from Democrats as well who are siding with their across-the-aisle peers to try to fix what many consider a complete disaster of the plan’s roll out. But while the government struggles to put their health care ducks in a row, Occupy Wall Street’s shoot off organization Strike Debt launched the Rolling Jubilee project to take matters into their own hands. The group bought up $15 million in American medical debt – and forgave it. Read more