10-Point Expert: Hillary Clinton’s Plan on Fixing College Debt with the New College Compact

Hillary Clinton College Plan

Just don’t ask her to send an email on the idea! [RIMSHOT] #ClintonEmailJokes4Life



A little lost when it comes to issues of public policy? Felling like this guy? Well relax, we’re here to help. This is 10-Point Expert, a series of articles that examine policies which are currently being introduced to the political landscape, in 10 simple to understand points. For this installment we look at Hillary Clinton’s college debt plan, the New College Compact.



Point 1: Student debt in the US is bad. Like “you feeling the effects of eating gas station sushi” bad. Based on the estimates from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, student debt is about $1.2 trillion, with $1 trillion of that being federal student loans! From that number, around $8 million have been defaulted on! Clinton plans to fix this trend – or at the very least greatly hinder it – with her student debt relief plan, the New College Compact. Why look at this, here’s a YouTube video from the Clinton campaign introducing the plan.



Point 2: Clinton’s New College Compact tries to tackle three major problems regarding student loans: 1) students shouldn’t have to take out tuition loans just to attend a 4-year public college, 2) lowering the current interest rates of student loans, and 3) changing how people repay their student loans.


Point 3: Clinton wants to achieve all this through a litany of smaller ideas ranging from community college tuition being free to the federal government reinvesting in higher education (which would reverse the trend of state cuts in higher education over the last decade) to making student interest rates be as low as possible to finally making states/colleges spend more money on students and less on administrative costs.


Point 4: The Clinton campaign says the basic idea is to “bend the cost curve” of higher education. This means lowering the cost of college education and not just shifting who pays for it. Currently the students and their families are burdening most of this load.     


Point 5: The plan would cost the federal government $350 billion over ten years. While huge numbers are thrown around for public policy plans all the time in Washington, the type of money that the New College Compact is asking for is still MASSIVE by comparison! To give you an idea, the Pell Grant program – currently the federal government’s biggest program student aid – is expecting to cost $380 billion over ten years alone!


Point 6: The New College Compact plans to pay for the $350 billion program by wiping out many of the tax deductions that the wealthiest Americans currently enjoy (ie they want to raise taxes on the rich).


Point 7: So the program asks for $350 billion over ten years AND wipes out a number of tax breaks for many wealthy individuals and organizations. Hey GOP controlled Congress, what do you think this?


Scanners Head Explosion


Point 8: Aside from conservatives obviously being against Clinton’s higher education plan, many critics have said the New College Compact never addresses the biggest issue with student debt; individuals who took out student loans, but didn’t graduate. While it’s true that these individuals would be able to refinance their student loans and get a lower interest rate under Clinton’s plan, it still may not be enough relief.


Point 9: Where Clinton’s college plan and Bernie Sanders “debt-free” college plan differ, is that the New College Compact focuses more on graduation rates and concerns itself more with the quality of higher education. Many education policy makers – like Education Secretary Arne Duncan – have expressed concerns over “debt-free” plans saying that they focus too much on the debt itself and not enough on the quality aspect of higher education. Because as the logic goes, if someone doesn’t graduate or get a good job after college, then their student debt morphs from a financial handicap into a budgetary noose!


Point 10: In terms of higher education, Clinton’s New College Compact gives a glimpse into what policies and ideas Democrats share. From the looks of it, free community college and greater push for transparency on all levels in higher education look to be tenets that all Democrats agree on. Don’t be surprised if these policy ideas keep coming back within future Democratic agendas.



(Photo Credit: HillaryClinton.com, YouTube, Google Images)


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