Hillary Rodham Clinton will call Monday for a $350-billion federal commitment to reducing higher education costs for millions of Americans, part of an overhaul she seeks that would also cut student loan interest rates and make it easier to repay college debt.
Mrs. Clinton will also appropriate her largest federal budget investment to easing student debt, in hopes of creating a “mandate to act on college affordability” and garnering support among young voters, added the source. The former secretary of state’s ideas are not wholly dissimilar from President Obama’s own education initiative, said one source, who cited Race to the Top, a almost $5 billion grant to the Department of Education.
More than half of the sum would go toward new grants to states and colleges to incentivize tuition plans that would eliminate student borrowing for four-year public universities, while eliminating tuition altogether for two-year community college programs.
Senator Bernie Sanders has gone even further by proposing higher education be completely tuition-free. The $70 billion annual proposal would be funded by imposing a tax on transactions by hedge funds, investment houses and other Wall Street firms.
Hillary Clinton’s plan would allow graduates to refinance existing loans at current rates and consolidate four existing programs that allow graduates to make income-based loan payments into one that caps repayment at 10 percent of income, with the balance forgiven after 20 years. “For many students, it would translate into debt-free tuition”, said Carmel Martin, executive vice president for policy at the Center for American Progress, who advised Clinton on the plan. “The burden of student-loan debt alone can put people in economic handcuffs and force them out of important but low-paying professions, such as social workers, teachers, and police officers”.
Private universities with “modest endowments” that serve a higher percentage of low-income students, including historically black colleges, would also receive federal funds to help lower the costs of attendance and improve graduation rates.
“Too many borrowers around the country are overly burdened or treated unfairly as they repay their student loans”, Clinton told The Chronicle of Higher Education in a 2007 interview.
Clinton’s proposal is $400billion cheaper than the plan released by Vermont Sent.
With a student debt crisis climbing upward of $1.2 trillion, college affordability has become a litmus test of the left. Clinton heard from New Hampshire residents about heroin and opiate addiction during a stop in Keene earlier this year. Her team conducted weeks of meetings with experts on the issue to develop the proposal, including policy staffers for liberal leader Sen.
The Democratic presidential frontrunner is about to make her biggest campaign policy announcement yet on her upcoming visit in New Hampshire, and this one will be all about college, reports Politico. Clinton organizers plan to promote the plan at registration events and other gatherings kicking off the school year, according to a campaign aide, in an effort to galvanize college students.
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