If elected in 2020, Elizabeth Warren has a plan to completely disrupt higher education
As the 2020 presidential election edges closer, candidates are beginning to really reveal their plans for their campaigns and the issues they would focus on if elected. That includes Elizabeth Warren, who has been slowly releasing more and more sweeping policy ideas to disrupt various industries, should she win the election. The latest? A plan to eliminate tuition at all public colleges and universities, while simultaneously eliminating almost all student debt that exists in the country.
Is this a radical idea? Absolutely. Would it make higher education more accessible and provide a huge stimulus shot to the economy? Yes.
Warren’s plan would likely cost around $1.25 billion, according to The New York Times, and while detailing it, she revealed that she wants to pay for it by imposing more taxes on the country’s wealthiest families and corporations. By raising those taxes, estimates say she should be able to net $2.75 trillion over 10 years, which is more than enough to pay for the higher education funding plan she’s proposing. We kind of knew Elizabeth Warren was going to save us. We just didn’t think it would happen so soon.
Here’s how the plan would work. Public colleges and universities would have their undergraduate tuition eliminated, so they would become free for all students who wanted to attend them for undergrad degrees only. In addition to that, federal grants would be expanded to help students pay for living expenses and other costs while going to public colleges or universities. And $50 billion would be allocated for a fund to support historically black colleges and universities.
And now for the part that’s going to truly change the lives of millions of people if this plan actually comes to pass. Elizabeth Warren is proposing wiping student debt clean for the majority of students. Like, absolving them of the debt they accrued to go to college, and letting them start fresh without crippling debt hanging over their heads. Are we all dreaming? Because this is almost too good to be true.
Warren wants to forgive up to $50,000 in debt for any graduate who makes under $100,000 a year. For people who make between $100,000 and $250,000 a year, a portion of debt is eligible for forgiveness. If you make over $250,000, you can pay your debt because come on.
“This touches people’s lives,” Warren told the New York Times. “This is a chance to talk about what’s broken and how we fix it. This is the American dream.”
It truly is. The American Dream that our parents’ generation chased (and largely realized) has been out of reach for many young people, who start their adult lives under five to six figures of interest-accruing debt. Multiple studies have shown it puts younger generations at an economic disadvantage so severe, they aren’t able to recover from it during the course of their lives. That’s a heavy burden to carry, so can you even imagine if, for millions of students, that burden were just gone?
Student debt is a crisis that’s keeping so many Americans from reaching their true potential. Elizabeth Warren may have radical ideas about how to fix it, but at least she has a plan.
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