College still wouldn’t be free under Hillary Clinton

By Andrew Pillow

The rising costs of college is becoming a huge problem for students and families. Many are looking to the government to solve the problem of college affordability. The debates have offered little insight into college funding thus far, but last night it did come up, and offered a ray of hope to the parents of current students.

Last night Hillary Clinton made some claims about higher education. Most notably that she wants to “make college debt free.” This may be true, and what she desires in the long run, but it is not quite what she has proposed in her plan.

Hillary’s plan as written would pay for in-state tuition for families making less than $125,000 a year. This wouldn’t cover room and board, nor would it cover students from all families. This would likely still cause students to borrow quite a bit of money.

This also assumes that Hillary’s plan would get through congress, which is far from a given. One need only reference the near hysterical opposition to Obamacare to see that. Hillary is favored to win the election by a pretty substantial margin, but she will be a historically unpopular president if her unfavorable ratings now are any indication. Additionally, she will likely be dealing with a GOP congress who has already pledged to oppose the Executive Branch at every turn.

This isn’t to say Hillary’s plan isn’t worthwhile, as it is almost certainly preferable to many families than the system now. Nor is it an attempt to discredit her or the idea. This is just a reminder to people who are banking on “debt free college”, to continue to plan for ways to pay for college in advance. 

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Andrew Pillow

Andrew is a technology teacher at KIPP Indy College Prep. He is graduate of the University of Kentucky and a Teach for America Alum. Andrew just recently finished his commitment as a Teach Plus Policy fellow, and he is looking forward to putting the skills he's learned to good use. Andrew has written for several publications in the past on a wide variety of topics but will be sticking to education for his role on Indy/Ed.