Hillary Clinton Backs Plan for Free College Tuition

(Photo: Flickr, Creative Commons)

(Photo: Flickr, Creative Commons)

Hillary Clinton’s team has revealed a plan to do away with tuition at in-state public colleges and universities for families that make up to $125,000 annually. This idea was one of Bernie Sanders’ central positions in which he pledged to make public institutions available to all students at no tuition cost to them.

The New York Times’ Stephanie Saul and Matt Flegenheimer report that Clinton did not comply with Sanders’ complete vision, but her decision was a boost to young supporters of Sen. Sanders.

This move represented a desire on the part of Clinton and her aides to unite the Democratic party behind her before the July 25 Philadelphia Democratic National Convention. Still, Sanders has not yet officially ended his campaign, nor has he endorsed Mrs. Clinton.

The proposal came in the midst of bitter contention with Donald J. Trump, the presumptive nominee for the Republican party. The move could also be an effort to get past the controversial misuse of a private email address and server for which FBI Director James B. Comey sharply criticized Clinton.

The Clinton camp says the proposal would cost an estimated $350 billion over ten years and assures the public that there is a plan in place to pay for it.

The announcement of the college tuition cut created curiosity as to when the Vermont senator is going to endorse the former Secretary of State.

“The point is, try to get away from the politics and look at what it means for young people in this country,” he said, while walking to his Senate office. “Any family (making) $125,000 or less will be able to send their kids to public college, university, tuition-free and for all people, millions of people who are suffering with student debt right now, that debt will be lowered. That’s a very big deal.”

According to Eliza Collins of USA Today, Sanders continues to say he will vote for Clinton, but he is not ready to back her. Sanders did note that he worked with Clinton on the education plan, and he was discussing other issues with Mrs. Clinton.

The plan, the “New College Compact,” will include a three-month cessation of federal student loan payments. The first phase of the program would allow families earning $85,000 or less a year to be eligible at once.

And the $350 billion will come from the closing of loopholes and tax expenditures set aside for high-income taxpayers. If necessary, more money will come from closing additional high-income tax loopholes like those that Wall Street money managers use, such as those with private equity firms and hedge funds.

The Clinton campaign says the new action would assist more than 80% of American families. They added that the three-month student loan payment moratorium would give indebted millennials time to refinance their federal loans, reports CNBC.

The Clinton plan for higher education seems to point toward a Democratic party trend to adopt certain components of Bernie Sanders’ progressive platform. The Sanders campaign won a battle last week over including a $15 minimum wage on the latest draft of the Democratic party’s platform.