THE COSTS: Since President Barack Obama took office, average tuition at public four-year colleges has grown 26 percent beyond overall inflation.
THE PRESIDENT: Obama argues he's taken bold steps on student aid that minimized the damage of a deep recession and will build for the future. Now almost all student loans come from the government rather than banks, and he's increased federal financial aid money.
THE CHALLENGER: Republican candidate Mitt Romney says the increased aid from Washington is driving up prices. He's pledged to reverse Obama's "nationalization" of the federal student loan market and return private lenders to the process.