Hillary Clinton’s $350 billion plan to kill college debt

Aug 10, 2015 by


Hillary Clinton on Monday rolled out a sweeping higher education plan — a $350 billion proposal that would help millions pay for college and reduce interest rates for people with student loans.

The plan, which would change the way a large swath of Americans pay for college, borrows ideas from the left and the right and even expands a program enacted by her husband. It includes ideas already being discussed in Congress and for which groundwork has been laid by the Obama administration. The proposal, dubbed the New College Compact, is unlikely to win over many in the GOP because the $350 billion over 10 years would come from cutting tax deductions for the wealthiest Americans

Clinton will discuss the plan, a litmus test of sorts for progressives, at campaign stops Monday and Tuesday in New Hampshire. And at a yet-to-be-announced stop later in the week, Clinton will offer additional proposals intended to help nontraditional students — such as those who are already parents — complete their degrees, the campaign said. And the plan’s roll out is timed to coincide with college students heading back to school, potentially luring a voting bloc critical for President Barack Obama that Clinton needs to court as well.

A senior campaign official called the combination of ideas and the intense emphasis on the issue of paying for college a “bold transformation of how we would do higher education financing in our country.”

Even so, college affordability has emerged as a major issue on the presidential campaign trail, as families face the highest debt burden in generations. National student debt is near $1.3 trillion and the average price for in-state students at public four-year universities is 42 percent higher than it was a decade ago, according to the College Board.

In almost every campaign stop, Clinton hears from students and families worried about paying for school. Her team conducted weeks of meetings with experts on the issue to develop the proposal, including policy staffers for liberal leader Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.

“There’s something wrong when students and their families have to go deeply into debt to be able to get the education and skills they need in order to make the best of their own lives,” she told students and teachers at Kirkland Community College in Monticello, Iowa, in April, shortly after announcing her campaign.

Clinton aides believe their plan will help build enthusiasm for her candidacy with younger voters — whose support twice helped catapult Obama into the White House. The policy rollout is timed for when students return to college campuses. 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.

Source: Hillary Clinton’s $350 billion plan to kill college debt – Nirvi Shah and Kimberly Hefling – POLITICO

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