President Obama last week proposed a huge expansion of the government's role in making college more affordable and putting it within reach of more students. The move -- which aims to convert all student lending to direct federal loans -- will require colleges and universities to update software designed to aid the landmark transition, Education Department officials said.

Even in tough times, and in a budget full of hard choices, Obama called for a significant spending increase on education, particularly higher education. The president was following through on a campaign promise to give every child the chance to go to college...

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