Hillary Clinton Plans To Make College More Affordable

Hillary Clinton plans on making higher education a priority in her campaign as she announces a new plan to make college education more accessible.

The new plan, which Hillary Clinton plans to announce on Monday, involves “Robin Hood taxes” to make public colleges easier to access for lower-income students.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the plan is “estimated to cost $350 billion over 10 years,” yet states would not be able to rely on federal funding alone. The plan, instead, acts as an incentive for state governments to chip in themselves and spend more on higher education. Public universities would also have to “control spending.”

CBS News quotes a Hillary Clinton “campaign fact sheet” as saying that “The New College Compact” plan – as it has been called – would “significantly cut the interest rate on student loans.”

State governments that wish to benefit from the incentives would have to take action to provide students with “no-loan tuition at 4-year public colleges and universities, and free community college tuition,” according to a CBS report.

The plan Hillary Clinton proposes also aims at helping those who owe student loans and those who may still need to borrow despite the planned reduction in expenses.

It is important to note that Hillary Clinton really targets certain groups of students including military veterans and lower-income students.

“It will depend on the student circumstances and the institution they are going to,” Center for American Progress executive VP Carmel Martin said.

A Hillary Clinton aide was also mentioned in a CBS report as saying that most students will “be expected to make a ‘realistic’ contribution,” though.

While all of that sounds nice, the Hillary Clinton college plan does not beat her competitors’.

Democratic candidate and Maryland Governor Marin O’Malley also plans on making public university education debt-free.

According to Time magazine, the O’Malley plan involves lowering state university tuition, matching a graduate’s income with loan repayment, and increasing federal grants to low-income students.

“If you simply cut a check for tuition, you’re going to see tuitions go up, […] and eventually we all foot that bill,” the governor said, adding that in order for the plan to work, “We have to increase degree attainment and bring down costs.”

And that’s not the only competing proposal Hillary Clinton will have to beat.

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, another candidate, has already officially laid down a bill, called the “College for All Act,” before the Senate, which aims to “eliminate undergraduate tuition and fees at public colleges and universities,” according to the senator’s official website.

States that wish to qualify for federal benefits if this bill gets passed will have to “maintain spending on their higher education systems, on academic instruction, and on need-based financial aid.”

And how does Sanders plan on funding this idea? “By imposing a Robin Hood tax on Wall Street,” the statement on his webpage stated.

So, while Hillary Clinton’s proposal may catch the spotlight and attract attention away from competition, the elections aren’t tomorrow, and there is more campaigning ahead for all the candidates.

Is Hillary Clinton on your list of potential candidates you’d vote for? And how persuaded are you by the Hillary Clinton college plan?

[Photo by Darren McCollester / Getty Images]