“I believe one of the single biggest ways we can raise incomes is by making college affordable and available to every American. So today, I’m laying out a plan to do just that,” says Hillary Clinton to preface her plan to combat college loans and encourage strategies and make education more affordable.
The New College Compact is the name of Clinton’s new plan to cut down costs and decrease student debt. The former First Lady says that she calls this a College Compact because “everyone’s going to have to step up to the plate.” In other words, States, colleges, and Americans will have to come hand-in-hand to arrive at a solution together.
Here are the basics of the plan as outlined by Clinton:
- Under the New College Compact, no student should have to borrow to pay tuition at a public college.
- Schools will have to control their costs and show more accountability to their students.
- States will have to meet their obligation to invest in higher education.
- The federal government will increase its investment in education, and won’t profit off student loans.
- And millions with student debt will be able to refinance it at lower rates.
“That’s my plan. It’s ambitious — and we should be ambitious. But it’s also achievable. And it would make a big difference in people’s lives.”
The plan comes down to two big goals:
- Make sure that cost is never a barrier:
“Under my plan, tuition will be affordable for every family. Students should never have to take out a loan to pay for tuition at their state’s public university. We’ll make sure the federal government and the states step up to help pay the cost, so the burden doesn’t fall on families alone.
Of course, these days, tuition isn’t enough. The cost of living at college has also been creeping up. So under my plan, students who qualify for Pell Grants will be able to use them for living expenses — and middle-class students will get more help to cover their living expenses, too.
We’re also going to make community college free. That’s President Obama’s plan and we’re making it ours. If students start at a community college and transfer to a four-year school, we’ll make sure their credits count and their transition is seamless. And we want more community colleges to offer two-year degrees and certificate programs that are valued by employers — so students know that, if they do the work, they’re in good shape to get a good job.”
- Make sure that debt won’t hold anyone back:
“For the millions of Americans who already have student debt, my plan will give you the chance to refinance at lower interest rates. If you can refinance your mortgage or your car loan, you should be able to refinance your student loan. It’s just wrong that people are locked into college loans at 8, 9, even 10 percent.
If you do end up taking out a loan — for example, to go to a private college — we’ll cut your interest rates, so the government never makes a profit off your loan.
We’ll make it easier to enroll in income-based repayment programs, so you’ll never have to pay more than 10 percent of what you make — and your debt will only last for a fixed period of time. It won’t hang over your head forever.”
And with this, we are somewhat relieved to see a politician finally stepping up to defend and advocate for a more affordable education. Hats off, Mrs. Clinton!