Hillary Clinton’s $350 billion higher education plan
Hillary Clinton is determined not to be out progressed this time around. On Monday, the two-time presidential candidate announced a plan that will tackle issues related to higher education.
“New College Compact” aims to tame the cost associated with attaining a college degree. She’s also looking to put a leash on student loan debt.
According to Brookings.edu, Clinton’s plan would make community colleges free.
“It vows to make enrollment at community colleges free and affordable without loans at four-year public institutions if students contribute the equivalent of wages from a 10 hour per-week job and families make the contribution prescribed by the aid eligibility formulas.”
Clinton is facing stiff competition from Bernie Sanders and will likely have to hold off a strong charge from Martin O’Malley. So releasing a progressive higher education plan surely works in her favor until it doesn’t.
While the plan sounds good on the surface, Clinton will have to tighten a few corners. HBCUs have serious concern over how free community college will impact their enrollment and financial aid.
She wants to reduce interest rates on student loans but a Brookings study found that many students who reside in higher tax brackets actually hold a lot of the debt associated with student loans.
“Our prior analysis indicates that higher-income households hold a disproportionate share of student loan debt. The richest 25 percent of families hold 40 percent of the student loans, and would therefore receive roughly 40 percent of the benefits of a proposal that allowed all loan debt to be refinanced at lower rates.”
Still–even with that nugget of information, many low-income students who face high repayments or garnishment due to default would likely benefit from the proposal.
Clinton still has time to tweak and talk through the plan, but looking at it on the surface, she has a lot of work to do but it is a step in the right direction.