Presidential Candidates’ Outlook on Higher Education

As the state primaries continue, it’s important to pause and take a look at where each candidate stands on higher education reform. The four candidates that have shared detailed plans include Jeb Bush, Hillary Clinton, Marco Rubio, and Bernie Sanders. The candidate’s proposals include recommendations on federal student loans and grants, college accountability, tuition fees, private investment options for college finance, accreditation reform and alternative education, information access, new revenues, and other major proposals. This is not an exclusive list since there are many facets to each proposal. Let’s take a look at the high-level elements of each viewpoint for the Presidential candidates on Higher Education.

Jeb Bush

  • Student Loans and Grants: Bush proposes that a $50,000 line of credit would be repaid over 25 years with one percent of the student’s income for every $10,000 borrowed.
  • College Accountability: Colleges would pay a portion of tuition that students were unable to repay.
  • Accreditation Reform and Alternative Education: Education savings accounts could be spent on alternative learning models.
  • Information Access: Students would access state-level databases that could be reviewed before withdrawing money from an education savings account.

Marco Rubio

  • Student Loans and Grants: Rubio proposes automatic income-based repayment.
  • Private Investment: Students can enter into income-share agreements with approved private investors.
  • Accreditation Reform and Alternative Education: Accreditation process would be based on student outcomes rather than inputs.
  • Information Access: Information about colleges like graduation rates would be available online.

Hillary Clinton

  • Student Loans and Grants: Clinton proposes to cut interest rates, cap payments at 10 percent of the student’s income, and forgive outstanding debt after 20 years.
  • College Accountability: Students would be protected against college fraud. Grants would be available to institutions that increase graduation rates.
  • Tuition fees: Grants would be available to states that make public four-year institutions debt free and abolishes tuition at community colleges.
  • Accreditation Reform and Alternative Education: Student aid could be spent on alternative education like online courses.
  • Information Access: Student outcomes would be accessible to the public.
  • Other Major Proposals: Clinton proposes to extend the American Opportunity Tax Credit.

Bernie Sanders

  • Student Loans and Grants: Sanders proposes to cut interest rates to 2.4 percent.
  • Tuition Fees: Tuition fees and public college and universities would be eliminated.
  • New Revenues: Implementing a financial transactions tax would create an estimated $75 billion per year.
  • Other Major Proposals: Enhance the federal work study program.

Click here for Presidential candidates on Higher Education additional details.

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