Clinton’s, Sanders’ plans address student loan debt

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Clinton’s, Sanders’ plans address student loan debt

Andrew Hodowanec/The Observer

Andrew Hodowanec/The Observer

Andrew Hodowanec/The Observer

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With the student loan debt owed to the Federal government up to $1.2 trillion, it has surpassed the amount Americans owe in credit card debt and car loans. In an attempt to rid students of this burden, Hillary Clinton has proposed a $350 billion reform plan to make college more accessible to Americans without loans. This will be provided through federal cash incentives to given to states.

Clinton’s policy also plans to cut interest rates on student loans so that the federal government will not profit off of them. She plans on reducing loans by allowing refinancing at current federal rates, which is said to affect over 25 million borrowers. She also plans to cap payments at the rate of 10 percent income and forgiving debts for those who have been paying down for over 20 years.

This plan is in contrast to that of Bernie Sanders, who proposes making all public college education free.

According to Monica Herk, vice president of education research at the Committee for Economic Development (CED), Sanders’ plan would draw more people to college.

“The proposal will likely increase the numbers of students in public institutions substantially–people consume more of pretty much anything when the price to them is reduced,” Herk wrote on the CED’s blog.

The hope is that as more people go to college due to affordability, they will earn higher incomes and more likely be awarded jobs, which would boost the overall economy.

However, some people find that even if there is more affordability, there is no policy within the plan to raise graduation rates or try to veer students towards more lucrative majors. Federal aid does not distinguish among majors and many people will pursue majors that yield only modest economic returns to themselves and the economy.