Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton has a plan for reforming higher education in the United States.
Clinton first proposed what she calls the New College Compact in 2015. The idea has stayed with her throughout the campaign, and it has undergone various changes. Her plan would not make college free for everyone. It would instead ensure that the students who chose to attend a public school would not need to take on debt to do so.
When talking about her ideas for public education reform in 2015, she said, “I am a little different from those who say free college for everybody. I am not in favor of making college free for Donald Trump’s kids. I am in favor of making college free for your grandson by having no-debt tuition.”
The New College Compact would be income based. Families who earn $85,000 or less would not need to pay for an education from public schools. The income threshold would move up to $125,000 in 2021.
Community college could also become free. Additionally, those who do take out student loans would find significantly lower interest rates.
Not leaving current students or recent graduates behind, Clinton’s plan would also allow for students who currently hold student debt to refinance their debt to take advantage of lower rates.
The initial cost of the New College Compact was estimated to be $350 billion over 10 years. However, the campaign recently raised the estimate to $500 billion.
The plan is designed to appeal to young people, particularly those who formed a solid base for Sanders during the primaries. Despite a lack of relationship, Sanders, who has endorsed Clinton, has recently joined Clinton on the stage.
Aides said that a joint plan was key to gaining Sanders’ endorsement.
Some critics of the plan say the plan is flat and does not offer the steps required to make it a reality. Indeed, the proposals available for the plan are shorter than other policy proposals the campaign has put forward.
The plan, though short, is still longer than plans put together by her rival, Republican nominee Donald Trump.