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“We don’t yet have all the details. We didn’t come up with a bill that has every specific detail laid down from beginning to end,” she said. “We thought the best thing to do would be to lay out a blueprint, lay out principles, and then get feedback on how best to make it into something concrete.”

While many universities have publicly bashed the plan, others have remained silent.

Mr. Obama’s alma mater, Columbia University, had no comment when contacted Tuesday by The Washington Times. A spokesman for Harvard University, where Mr. Obama attended law school, did not respond to a request for comment.

To the relief of most in the higher-education community, the administration’s proposal, in its current form, does not touch the popular Pell Grant program, which doles out about $35 billion per year to low-income students with a maximum yearly award of $5,550.

Pell spending, awarded on the basis of financial need, has more than doubled since Mr. Obama took office.