Clinton’s Student Debt Plan May Cost Taxpayers
Hillary Clinton’s higher education debt reform plan has tax payers concerned as the original budgeted amount of $350 billion could be significantly inflated, shifting the burden from students and their families onto tax payers.
The original $350 billion budget outlined was to be stretched over a 10 year period. With student loans at an all time high of $1.3 trillion, this suggests more individuals are seeking college degrees due to more entry level positions requiring an under graduate degree. This could leave new grads with an entry level wage scrambling to afford the cost of living as well as paying off student debt.
Clinton outlines a plan to use federal incentives ensuring state colleges charge reasonable rates students can afford without taking out excessive student loans to ensure ends meet. Also outlined, students will be able repay loans by cutting rates, limiting those payments to only a portion of their earnings and forgiving balances extending past 20 years.
She also wants to ensure the cost of education will not be a barrier for the student’s future educational endeavors stating, “And we will make sure the federal government and states step up to help pay the cost, so the burden doesn’t fall on families alone.”
The College Board reports the average cost in 2014-2015 of room and board alone at public colleges was $9,804 with books and supplies running close to $1,200. The additional costs of transportation and personal expenses must also be calculated into a school year balance. With the average grant paying out $2,435, this is not nearly enough to cover these expenses, leaving students and families no alternative other than take on more debt.
ABC news reports students attending private universities may be enticed by this debt-free educational system opting to attend public schools instead. This would cause taxpayers at both state and federal levels to push out more than the original $350 billion budgeted for, forcing each to dramatically increase their funding for public schools. Clinton’s argument is we would see an increased number of students completing their degrees which in turn would promote higher paying jobs, translating to an overall economic boost.
The National Center for Statistics states only 59 percent of students having aspirations toward a bachelor’s degree at a 4-year university completed that degree in 6 years. That leaves 41 percent without a degree and lack of income for the economic gains Clinton has proposed.
Experts claim Clinton’s plan may raise graduation rates. However, other variables, such as poverty and other factors outside debt, may affect the ability to attain the degree sought.
According to analysts “There is no actual policy within the plan…” outlining how to raise the graduation rates.
All majors are treated equally which consequently drives students to pursue “safer” degrees providing modest economic returns over the pursuit of more lucrative passions.