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Clinton’s College Compact: Will It Make College More Affordable?

Clinton unveiled the first of many presidential hopefuls' proposed policies on college affordability.

Kathryn Knight Randolph

August 21, 2015

Clinton’s College Compact: Will It Make College More Affordable?
Hillary Clinton isn’t waiting to take office to propose new policy changes. As part of her campaign for President, Clinton unveiled a “new college compact” earlier in August that would help to alleviate the cost of college as well as student loan debt for graduates, according to USA Today. This new college compact has five main points: • That no student attending a public college would need to take out student loans in order to afford tuition.
• That colleges would have to control costs and be accountable to student outcomes.

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• That states would be required to invest more in higher education.
• That the federal government, too, would need to invest more and not profit from student loans.
• And finally, that those with student debt would be able to refinance their loans at a lower rate. In her college compact, Clinton adds that students will be able to use Pell Grants to help out with the cost of student living and not just tuition costs. She also echoes President Obama’s current policy plans to make community college free, saying she would do the same. Finally, she specifically calls out Historically Black Colleges, Hispanic-Serving Institutions, college students that are parents and those that serve the community with promises to work closely with these groups to ensure that college is more affordable.

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For those who have already borrowed to pay for college, Clinton again picks from the current administration’s proposed policies for an income-based repayment plan that would limit payments to just 10% of what each borrower makes. She also targeted for-profit institutions and others that are accused of overcharging students for an education that doesn’t pay off in the real world, thereby setting those students up to default on their loans. Clinton’s plan is pretty comprehensive, but will it work?

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In the college compact, Clinton states that this isn’t just a call to action for legislators or students; everyone has a role to play. She calls on federal and state legislatures, colleges and universities as well as students and parents. Federal and state governments would be required to provide more funding, colleges and universities would have to raise their standards and be more accountable to student outcomes, and finally, students would have to excel in college in order to reap the benefits. What do you think of Clinton’s college compact? Is it realistic? Can Republicans and Democrats agree on these points?

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