Presidential candidates from both parties are tapping into Americans’ growing angst over paying for college, placing an unprecedented bright glare on higher education this election. For Democrats, the solution is making college cheaper, or free. Republicans want more innovation and efficiency.
The surge in candidates’ collective interest in the issue isn’t a coincidence: Nearly half the students who answered a recent UCLA survey on the importance of financial aid in their college decision making said it was “very important” — the highest percentage ever in the 42 years the question was asked. A Gallup poll earlier this year found more parents fret about having enough money to pay for their kids’ college than other Americans worry about any other common financial concern.
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