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ELIZABETH WARREN'S HIGHER EDUCATION PLAN

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts proposed a $1.25 trillion plan to reshape higher education finance by canceling most student loan debt and eliminating tuition at public colleges. The plan would be funded by a tax hike on America's wealthiest families and corporations, which her campaign estimates at $2.75 trillion over 10 years. She would eliminate up to $50,000 in student loan debt for every person with a household income of less than $100,000, and borrowers who make between $100,000 and $250,000 would have a portion of their debt forgiven. In addition, Warren's proposal would prohibit colleges from considering citizenship status and criminal history in admission decisions, cut off federal money from for-profit colleges, and require an "annual equity audit" for public colleges that would identify shortfalls in enrollment and completion rates for lower-income students and students of color. Critics of the plan such as Neal McCluskey, the director of the Center for Educational Freedom at the Cato Institute, said that people who go to college often do so in part because they hope to increase their earning potential. He feels it is unfair for borrowers to not repay taxpayers who had no choice but to fund the loans, on terms the borrowers voluntarily agreed to.

In Other News

  • Williams College is planning to review and revise its policies following student protests over a faculty petition to adopt the so-called "Chicago principles," a policy framework for campus free speech.
  • Bennett College, one of two all-women's historically black colleges in the country, has raised $9.5 million for reaccreditation. Bennett's current struggles mirror those of many of the other 101 historically black colleges and universities across the nation.
  • Democratic Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo wants to expand an existing program that offers free college tuition for students who pursue in-state higher education. The program allows high school graduates to attend a local community college at no cost, as long as they maintain a GPA of 2.5 or above.