THINK PROGRESS: Bernie Sanders’ Ambitious Plan To Eliminate College Tuition

Career College Central Summary:

  • Bernie Sanders (I-VT) wants to see a “revolution” in higher education funding.
  • The longtime Senator and newly minted presidential candidate unveiled a bill Tuesday that would completely eliminate undergraduate tuition at four-year public colleges and universities. The bill would also expand work-study programs and allow graduates who collectively hold more than a trillion dollars in student debt to refinance at a lower interest rate. At a press conference outside the US Capitol, Sanders called the current burdens on students and graduates a “national disgrace.”
  • “We have to make sure that every qualified American in this country who has the ability and desire to go to college is able to go to college, regardless of the income of his or her family,” he said. “It is totally unacceptable that Americans are drowning in $1.2 trillion in student loan debt. It is unacceptable that millions of college graduates cannot afford to buy their first home or their first car because of the outrageously high interest rates they are paying on student debt.”
  • One of those students is Octavia Savage, who just graduated Bloomfield College in New Jersey with a degree in accounting and $26,000 in debt.
  • “I am considered lucky, because the average student leaves with even more debt,” she told ThinkProgress. “But I’m worried about six months from now when I’m going to have to start paying it back. How am I going to do that? And if I can’t, it’ll start to affect my credit score, and in the future I won’t be able to purchase what I want even if I have a good job because my score will look like I’m not responsible. ”
  • During college, Savage worked at UPS, Walmart, the college library and Sprint — including overnight shifts — to be able to afford tuition and books. Now, she lives with her dad in Newark and feels unable to move forward with her life because of her debt burden.
  • “I’m ready to move out. I’m 21 years old! I should be moving out but unfortunately I can’t afford to live on my own,” she said. “I also see my younger siblings and my community wishing to go to school but not able to get the loans and grants they need.”
  • The “College for All Act” introduced this week would have the federal government pay for two-thirds of the cost of public college tuition, and ask states to pick up the tab for the remaining third. The schools would be barred from using federal money to increase administrator salaries or build non-academic buildings like sports stadiums. Student loan interest rates for undergraduates would be cut to just over 2 percent, and would be tied to inflation but capped at 8.25 percent. The bill would also expand federal work-study programs and make them available to more students at more schools.

Click through to read the full article.


Leave a Reply

Be the First to Comment!

Notify of