Costs won't be a barrier. Debt won't hold you back.
Imagine what is possible in America if we tackle the runaway costs of higher education, make sure that students who start college can finish with a degree, and relieve the crushing burden of student debt: families that can send their sons and daughters to college, graduates who can buy homes and start businesses without being held back by loans, and student parents who can balance the costs of quality child care with returning to school. We will see incomes rise and ensure Americans get ahead and stay ahead.
Today, Hillary Clinton released a plan to get us there. Her plan is a New College Compact. Students and families are ready to do their part. Everyone else – the federal government, states, and colleges and universities – needs to step up and do theirs.
The bottom line of the New College Compact for every student and every family is this:
Costs won't be a barrier
Students should never have to borrow to pay for tuition, books, and fees to attend a 4-year public college in their state under the New College Compact. The additional support they receive will reduce all costs, including living expenses, by thousands of dollars. Students at community college will receive free tuition. Students will have to do their part by contributing their earnings from working 10 hours a week.
Families will do their part by making an affordable and realistic family contribution.
States will have to step up and meet their obligation to invest in higher education by maintaining current levels of higher education funding and reinvesting over time.
The Federal government will make a major new investment in the New College Compact and will never again profit off student loans for college students.
Colleges and universities will be accountable to improve their outcomes and control their costs to make sure their tuition is affordable and that students who invest in college leave with a degree.
And we will encourage innovators who design imaginative new ways of providing a valuable college education to students – while cracking down on abusive practices that burden students with debt without value.
Debt won't hold you back
If you have student debt, you will be able to refinance your loans at current rates, with an estimated 25 million borrowers receiving debt relief. Typical borrowers could save $2,000 over the life of their loans.
For future undergraduates, the plan will significantly cut interest rates so they reflect the government's low cost of debt. This can save students hundreds or thousands of dollars over the life of their loans.
Everyone will be able to enroll in a simplified income based repayment program so that borrowers never have to pay more than 10 percent of what they make.
Fully paid for: This plan will cost in the range of $350 billion over 10 years – and will be fully paid for by limiting certain tax expenditures for high-income taxpayers.