Democratic Candidates Make Promises on Higher Education, Student Loan Debt | Fastweb

Student News

Democratic Candidates Make Promises on Higher Education, Student Loan Debt

The candidates begin casting their vision for college and beyond.

By Kathryn Knight Randolph

May 01, 2019

Democratic Candidates Make Promises on Higher Education, Student Loan Debt
Though we’re over 18 months out from a presidential election, many Democratic candidates have thrown their hat into the ring, hoping to take on President Trump in 2020. Given that, we’re getting an early glimpse of how these candidates plan to take on the issues of tuition increases and student loan debt. Take a look at the some of the leading Democratic presidential candidates on issues of higher education: Bernie Sanders Technically an Independent, Sanders is a veteran of presidential primary elections and a junior Senator for Vermont since 2007. He garnered much attention during his last run for President by offering free public college for all. According to his website, he is once again endorsing free college tuition for all at public universities, colleges and trade schools. He has added that he would like to fully fund Historically Black Colleges and Universities, lower student debt and significantly lower interest rates on student loans. Joe Biden Days ago, former Vice President, Joe Biden, threw his hat into the ring. While he does not provide concrete details on his website about his plans for higher education, he alludes to providing greater opportunity for pursuing certificate, on-the-job-training, community college and four-year degree programs. Elizabeth Warren Earlier this week, Senator Elizabeth Warren released an extensive proposal for free college as well as a tax plan to pay for it. In her plan, as reported by CNN, she offers to: • Eliminate student loan debt of up to $50,000 for households earning less than $100,000 annually.
• Provide free tuition at all public colleges and universities.
• Expand federal grants for lower-income and minority students to cover associated college costs like housing, food, books and child care. Warren’s plan would be paid for by her wealth tax proposal, which would tax 2% of those making over $50 million annually and 3% of those making over $1 billion annually (Her wealth tax would also cover universal child care). Kamala Harris Harris’ work in higher education as the former California Attorney General has focused mostly on bringing for-profit colleges to justice after they loaded graduates with debt and under-delivered on their ability to provide jobs. She specifically targeted Corinthian Colleges. Now, Harris is a proponent of making debt-free college a national priority as well as continuing her crusade against for-profit colleges that “prey on students,” according to MarketWatch. Pete Buttigieg While Buttigieg has made no mention of college costs and student loan debt on his website, he has been candid about his opinion on both in town halls and events. Contrary to most Democratic candidates, he believes a free college tuition approach to higher education is not very progressive. MarketWatch reports that Buttigieg stated, “I have a hard time getting my head around the idea of a majority [referring to those that did not attend college] who earn less because they didn’t go to college subsidizing a minority who earn more because they did.” He is, however, in support of states investing more in colleges, lowering student loan rates and increasing Pell Grant funding. Beto O’Rourke Like Buttigieg, O’Rourke doesn’t have many details listed on his college tuition and student debt relief policies. In the past O’Rourke has been in favor of free community college, according to MarketWatch. He has also alluded to supporting a potential expansion of public service loan forgiveness and lowering interest rates on student loan refinancing. The 2020 election seems far away; but time flies when politicians are campaigning and evolving their policies. Stay up to date on their higher education positions; it could impact your life in the not-too-distant future.

You Might Also Like

Easy Scholarship to Apply

Quick and Easy to Apply

Join the Discussion