Public four-year colleges would be free for families making under $125K
Last month, President Trump rolled back Obama-era guidance that forbid student loan companies from charging massive fees to borrowers in default. Now, financial institutions can charge these distressed borrowers up to 16 percent on their loans principal and accrued interest. While the Trump administration wages war on education though deep budget cuts and hikes to distressed borrowers, Senator Bernie Sanders has introduced a new bill that would make college free for many students.
Sanders’ “College for All” act proposes to eliminate college tuition at public four-year universities for all students from families making up to $125,000 per year. It would also make community college tuition free for all students. The bill was introduced with five cosponsors including Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Mich. “Our job is to bring forward a progressive agenda,” said Sanders. “Our job now is to go out in every state in this country. … We can win this fight when millions of Americans stand up and demand this legislation.”
The bill is very similar to the one Sanders discussed on the campaign trail in 2016, although it now includes an income-level cap. The bill would also eliminate the government’s ability to profit off student loans and cut the interest rate for undergraduate students to 1.88 percent. To pay for the bill, the federal government would pay 67 percent while state governments would foot the bill for the other third. The money would come from a tax on Wall Street speculation. Although the bill is highly unlikely to pass the Republican-controlled Congress, it’s emblematic of the growing call for free college from Democrats.