On Wednesday, presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton announced a new college affordability plan in the hope of attracting younger voters, many of whom supported Bernie Sanders in the primaries, One of Senator Sanders’s most popular campaign promises was free college for all students, which Secretary Clinton is now partially adopting in order to convince those young voters to support her in November, according to The Washington Post.
Clinton’s new college plan does not eliminate tuition for everyone like Sanders’s plan did, but it does offer tuition-free college for working families whose income is under a certain amount. Clinton originally planned to make community college free for everyone, a plan that would cost $350 billion. The newly announced expansions would cost an additional $100 billion.
As part of the plan, the number of students who would qualify for free tuition at public colleges and universities would increase every year for four years, starting with families earning 85,000 dollars per year or less, and would eventually include all families earning 125,000 dollars per year. This would cover more than 80 percent of American families.
Other proposals included in the plan are a three-month moratorium on student loan repayment and the expansion of Pell grants to be offered all year rather than only during the school year.
Senator Bernie Sanders offered praise for the plan, the Post reports, clearly pleased that the Clinton campaign has incorporated some of his own campaign promises into their platform. He said this morning that Clinton’s new plan would make sure that “The dream of higher education will become a reality for all, regardless of the economic circumstances of their family,” and that it would “revolutionize” higher education.
And Hillary Clinton needs to appeal to Bernie Sanders’s supporters—young people came out in droves to vote for him in the primaries, and they’re a large part of the electorate.
After Clinton clinched the Democratic Party’s nomination last month, Clinton met with Sanders to discuss which of his proposed policies would be adopted by the Clinton campaign and the Democratic Party’s platform. It’s expected that Sanders will endorse Clinton sometime next week. College affordability was clearly one of the policies that Clinton was willing to compromise on, and it’s certainly an issue that we students can get behind.