Questions on Obama Claim on Politicians Starting Colleges

February 5, 2015

PolitiFact, the fact-checking service of The Tampa Bay Times, is questioning President Obama's claim that politicians have started colleges. In a recent interview on YouTube, Obama answered a question about why young people should be interested in politics this way: "Well, basically, politics is just -- how do we organize ourselves as a society? How do we make decisions about how we're going to live together? So, young people care about how college is paid for. Well, the truth of the matter is, the reason we even have colleges is that at some point there were politicians who said, ‘You know what? We should start colleges.’"

Obama went on to cite Abraham Lincoln for signing the bill that created the land-grant college system.

The article quoted several experts as saying that, in fact, politicians haven't created many colleges. The land-grant legislation encouraged states to do so, or supported existing institutions. And many other pieces of legislation helped colleges and students, but didn't actually create colleges, the article concluded.


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