On Aug. 10, presidential candidate Hillary Clinton unveiled the New College Compact. The “costs won’t be a barrier” plan touts debt-free tuition for all American students seeking higher education and seeks to reduce the burden for those who have already attended school.
According to the New College Compact, the cost of getting an education will be drastically lowered, so long as students do their part to maintain a 10-hour-a-week job to help pay for the remaining expenses. In an idealized Hillary Clinton world, all of the little Bobcats here at Texas State would be chilling, seemingly debt-free, with a positive outlook on the future.
Clinton does not stop at lowered costs, she goes on to assert that students will be able to attend community college for free. However, in order for students to receive grants and aids, they would have to maintain a steady job because that is the American way—working for what we get.
If students are like me, then they are probably baffled by how Clinton plans to do all this. Well, first she is going to have states invest in higher education by offering different kinds of incentives for states with tuition low enough to not force students to take out loans in order to get an education.
For those attending private schools, which are not funded by the state, Clinton has pledged to lower interest rates on the loans they may have to take out. Not only that, but universities will be held more accountable to their students through common sense finance and tuition control.
Loans are the bane of every student’s existence. Between repaying the mass of debt owed and adding interest to the already enormous amount of money, there is no telling which one is worse.
Thankfully, this is only the tip of the iceberg of what Clinton plans to do, should she gain the presidency. Not only will this benefit future college students, but those current poor souls as well.
Graduates with student debt, like Bobcats everywhere, will be able to refinance their loans at current rates. This will leave an estimated 25 million borrowers with debt relief. Debt relief equals stress relief, which equals a happy Mikala and an even happier bank account.
Granted, the plan will cost $350 billion over the course of 10 years, but it will be fully paid for by limiting a number of tax expenditures for high-income taxpayers.
In this day and age, it is almost necessary to have at least a bachelor’s degree to prevent a lifetime of work at a fast-food joint. However, many students are struggling with debt, and future students are anxious about how they will pay for college.
Today, 40 million Americans have student loans. Many young Americans are stressed about their college debt and this leads to them pushing back important milestones in their lives—such as buying their first home or getting married.
Clinton’s plan offers a step in the right direction. The plan is not perfect, but it sets students and politicians to thinking of ways to improve the current state of student debt in America. As long as people are talking, there will be hope for a future without the fears of crippling student loan debt, improving the lives of all Americans. If she keeps it up, Hillary Clinton definitely has my vote.
Follow Mikala Everett on Twitter at @mikala_maquella.