Topics in the News: College Tuition

Gina Raimondo on College Tuition: (Education Feb 3, 2021)
Made community college tuition free before most states

We increased the number of high-quality career and technical training programs in our high schools by 60%. Later this year, we'll cut the ribbon on another education center in Woonsocket--replicating the successful model that has already provided skills for new jobs to over 3,000 students. We took bold steps to make community college tuition-free for every high school graduate. At the time we did that, few states had taken this path. Now our country looks to us as a model.
Click for Gina Raimondo on other issues.   Source: 2021 State of the State Address to Rhode Island legislature

Howie Hawkins on College Tuition: (Education Jul 12, 2020)
Free college tuition for qualified students; abolish loans

Provide free college tuition to all qualified students at public universities and vocational schools. Abolish all student and parent loans taken out to finance post-secondary and vocational education.

Eliminate police officers from our schools. Ensure school security personnel are trained for, and held accountable to, conflict resolution techniques and anti-bias training. Security personnel should demonstrate cultural competency and refrain from enforcing white supremacist oppressive tactics.

Click for Howie Hawkins on other issues.   Source: Green Party Platform adopted by 2020 presidential hopeful

Joe Biden on College Tuition: (Education Jun 27, 2019)
3X money for Title I schools; free community college tuition

We should triple the amount of money we spend for Title I schools. We should have universal pre-K. There should be free community college, cutting in half the cost of college. We should not have anyone have to pay back a student debt if they are making less than $25,000 a year. Their debt is frozen, no interest payment until they get beyond that. We have to make continuing education available for everyone so that everyone can compete in the 21st Century. We are not doing that now.
Click for Joe Biden on other issues.   Source: June Democratic Primary debate (second night in Miami)

Kirsten Gillibrand on College Tuition: (Education May 23, 2019)
College tuition in exchange for public service

Tell every young person in this country that if you do a year of public service, you could have two years of community college or state school free. We know that we have lots of service industries desperate for young workers. If you open up public service to those industry groups and incentivize young people to commit a year or two to that, it's going to not only create pipelines into new jobs but change the heart of these kids in a generation.
Click for Kirsten Gillibrand on other issues.   Source: NPR Morning Edition, "Election 2020: Opening Arguments"

Pete Buttigieg on College Tuition: (Education Apr 22, 2019)
States should take on more of cost of higher education

This is kind of a personal issue for us because Chasten and I live with six-figure student debt. There are several things that we've got to do. Through a combination of carrots and sticks, we've got to induce states to carry more of the burden, instead of continuing to pass it on to students. Students are getting squeezed because states are less and less willing to appropriate the funds to make sure that in-state public college tuition is truly affordable.

We've also got to work on student loan debt. If, when interest rates change, I can refinance the debt on our house, then it stands to reason that you should be able to do with student debt, too.

I think those two steps, coupled with a significant increase in Pell Grants, would make a big difference for college accessibility. And when we're increasing Pell Grants, let's peg it automatically to inflation.

Click for Pete Buttigieg on other issues.   Source: CNN Town Hall 2020 Democratic primary

Jay Inslee on College Tuition: (Education Apr 10, 2019)
Cut college tuition; provide assistance to neediest

One of the things we've done is we've reduced tuition. We haven't cut it in half, but we've reduced it. We have dramatically increased access to financial aid, and we've done it in a really smart way. We've probably 20 percent or 30 percent increase eventually we will have as to the number of students who are getting financial aid. We have targeted the financial aid to those who were really most in the need, which are the lower, you know, quintile or quartile of our students. And we've given them not just free tuition, but we've given them the full meal deal You have to be able to eat when you're going to school and you have to be able to buy books and take care of your transportation needs.
Click for Jay Inslee on other issues.   Source: CNN Town Hall: 2020 presidential hopefuls

Cory Booker on College Tuition: (Education Apr 4, 2019)
Government should not profit from student debt

He argued that free college tuition is the wrong answer to an emerging workforce that needs more skills training. He would make sure that existing federal student loans are refinanced so the government is no longer making money off college graduates' debt.
Click for Cory Booker on other issues.   Source: The Atlantic, "Under the Radar," on 2020 Democratic primary

Tulsi Gabbard on College Tuition: (Education Mar 10, 2019)
Free tuition at public higher education

She wants to get rid of tuition and fees at 4-year public colleges and universities. She also supports free community college tuition for everyone.
Click for Tulsi Gabbard on other issues.   Source: "What you need to know about 2020"

Steve Bullock on College Tuition: (Education Jan 31, 2019)
Freeze college tuition; college credit for veterans

For our veterans, we've expanded opportunities to get college credit for prior learning gained through their military service. In 2013, states around the country were slashing university budgets and saddling students with steep tuition increases. Instead, we have increased investments in higher education while freezing college tuition four of the last six years; leading to Montana having the fourth lowest tuition and fees in the nation. Let's once again freeze in-state college tuition and prevent what is effectively a tax increase on 28,000 Montana students and their families. And let's finally join 49 other states providing state-funded, need-based financial aid for students and adult learners. These investments will determine for decades to come the economic success of Montana students, workers and families.
Click for Steve Bullock on other issues.   Source: 2019 State of the State address to the Montana legislature

Howard Schultz on College Tuition: (Education Jan 28, 2019)
Supplement Pell Grants to make online college tuition-free

[I called for the Starbucks board to innovate the employee partner experience.] Online education immediately intrigued them as a possible solution.

The federal government had long provided financial assistance to students from low-income households, in the form of subsidies known as Pell Grants. Many of Starbuck's store partners were the very people that Pell Grants were created to serve: those for whom a college degree would be unattainable without financial assistance.

No such public-private funding model to provide debt-free college tuition--where students, a sponsoring company, and a university all had a stake in the outcome--exists. We had to create it.

We crunched the numbers. The likelihood of our partners' qualifying for Pell Grants made providing a college benefit more affordable for Starbucks. Whatever costs we did incur we would likely make up in the reduced turnover we anticipated such a benefit would yield.

Click for Howard Schultz on other issues.   Source: From the Ground Up, by Howard Schultz, p.173-5

Kirsten Gillibrand on College Tuition: (Education Jan 16, 2019)
Make public higher education debt-free

Click for Kirsten Gillibrand on other issues.   Source: PBS News hour on 2020 Presidential hopefuls

Tulsi Gabbard on College Tuition: (Education Jan 14, 2019)
Tuition-free community college for all

Gabbard backs Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders' proposal to cut or eliminate higher education tuition for most Americans. She would make community college tuition-free for all Americans, and four-year public colleges tuition-free for students whose families make $125,000 or less per year. The plan would pay for that tuition by imposing a new tax on stock and bond trades.
Click for Tulsi Gabbard on other issues.   Source: PBS News hour on 2020 Presidential hopefuls

Stacey Abrams on College Tuition: (Education Nov 1, 2018)
Needs-based college tuition for low-income students

Education: Increase state funding for higher education?

Abrams: Yes. Includes needs-based aid for low-income students, restoring tuition-free certificates, and funding Georgia 2025 program.

Kemp: No stand found.

Click for Stacey Abrams on other issues.   Source: 2018 Issue Guide on Georgia Governor race

Gina Raimondo on College Tuition: (Education Jan 16, 2018)
More pre-K classrooms; free community college

We've made record investments in education, and we're committed to ensuring that everyone has a shot to continue their education past high school: Today, there are three times as many public pre-K classrooms as there were four years ago. We've guaranteed all-day kindergarten for every child in Rhode Island. And more than 1,500 Rhode Islanders are getting a shot at a career because we made community college tuition-free. But there's so much left to do. So let's keep going.
Click for Gina Raimondo on other issues.   Source: 2018 Rhode Island State of the State address

Hillary Clinton on College Tuition: (Tax Reform Oct 19, 2016)
FactCheck: Hillary's plan raises taxes only for top 5%

Trump said, "Clinton's plan is going to raise taxes and even double your taxes. Her tax plan is a disaster. And she can say all she wants about college tuition. And I'm a big proponent. We're going to do a lot of things for college tuition. But the rest of the public's going to be paying for it. We will have a massive, massive tax increase under Hillary Clinton's plan."

Fact-checked: "Clinton's plan wouldn't raise taxes at all for 95% of Americans, according to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center. The very wealthiest would take the greatest hit, though a doubling is highly questionable. Two-thirds of her proposed increases would hit the top 0.1 percent of richest Americans, the center estimates. The main components of her tax plan: a minimum 30 percent tax on those earning at least $1 million a year, and a 5 percent tax surcharge for those earning more than $5 million a year. She would also cap the value of tax deductions and exclusions for wealthier taxpayers."

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: Fox Business FactCheck on Third 2016 Presidential Debate

Kirsten Gillibrand on College Tuition: (Families & Children Jul 25, 2016)
Family leave & equal pay strengthens America

Families today look almost nothing like they did a generation ago. Yet our policies are stuck in the Mad Men era. We are the only industrialized nation that doesn't guarantee workers paid family leave. Most parents work outside the home, yet childcare can cost as much as college tuition. Families rely on women's income, but we still don't have equal pay for equal work. This makes no sense, because we know that when families are strong, America is strong.
Click for Kirsten Gillibrand on other issues.   Source: Speech at 2016 Democratic National Convention

Bernie Sanders on College Tuition: (Education Nov 14, 2015)
$70B to make public colleges & universities tuition-free

Q: Secy. Clinton, you want to make public college debt-free. Who pays for that?

CLINTON: Well, first of all, it isn't the middle class. I have made very clear that hardworking, middle-class families need a raise, not a tax increase.

Q: Gov. O'Malley, you also want to make public college debt-free.

O`MALLEY: In Maryland, yes, we did in fact raise the sales tax by a penny for our public schools; we were the only state to go four years in a row without a penny's increase to college tuitions.

Q: Senator Sanders, you want to make public college free altogether. Isn't this throwing a lot of money away since 1/3 of these people are not going to complete college?

SANDERS: No, it is an extraordinary investment for this country. Germany & many other countries do it already. This is revolutionary for education in America. It will give hope to millions of young people.

Q: And you want to have the states pay for about 1/3 of this $70 billion plan, correct?


Click for Bernie Sanders on other issues.   Source: 2015 CBS Democratic primary debate in Iowa

Hillary Clinton on College Tuition: (Immigration Oct 13, 2015)
Include undocumented immigrant kids in state college tuition

Q: Governor O'Malley and Senator Sanders want to provide in-state college tuition to undocumented immigrants. Where do you stand?

CLINTON: My plan would support any state that takes that position, and would work with those states and encourage more states to do the same.

O'MALLEY: And a the immigrant haters like some that we've heard, like Donald Trump, that carnival barker in the Republican party, tried to mischaracterize it as free tuition for illegal immigrants. But, we took our case to the people when it was petitioned to referendum, and we won with 58 percent of the vote. The more our children learn, the more they will earn, and that's true of children who have yet to be naturalized, but will become American citizens.

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: 2015 CNN Democratic primary debate in Las Vegas

Bernie Sanders on College Tuition: (Homeland Security Apr 30, 2015)
Cut defense by $18B to pay for 55% of all college tuition

If the federal government were to invest $18 billion a year, with a dollar-for-dollar match from state governments, we would slash college tuition in the United States by more than half. Many of my colleagues in Washington would look at that number-- $18 billion a year--and tell you that we can't afford to make that kind of investment in our nation's young people. To put it simply, they are wrong. In the budget proposal President Obama released two weeks ago, he requested $561 billion for the Department of Defense--$38 billion over budget caps that are currently in place. If we were to reduce the President's proposed increase in military spending by less than half, and instead invest that money in educational opportunities for today's college students, we could cut tuition by 55%. So I challenge all of you. ask yourselves, where should our priorities lie?
Click for Bernie Sanders on other issues.   Source: Forbes Magazine on 2016 hopefuls: 2015 speech at U. Iowa

Cory Booker on College Tuition: (Education Nov 3, 2013)
Ensure that college tuition is not a long-term burden

The very fact that Congress has been paralyzed in the face of student loan rates that are set to double is only the latest piece of evidence that we are not putting education first. The situation is absolutely unacceptable: Tuition rates are climbing and student loan debt has topped over a trillion dollars nationally. More than 100,000 low-income students are denied the ability to go to college every year, and a typical low-income family dedicates the equivalent of more than 70 percent of its annual income to send a child to college for a year. Here in New Jersey, as in many states, there has been a massive spike in college enrollment paired with steep cuts in state support, putting tremendous pressure on tuition.

As your Senator, I will support access to the education our kids need to succeed by doing all I can to ensure paying for that education is not a barrier or long-term burden.

Click for Cory Booker on other issues.   Source: 2013-2014 New Jersey Senate campaign web

Barack Obama on College Tuition: (Education Aug 25, 2008)
Refundable $4000 tax credit for community college tuition

Obama proposes to expand the child-care tax credit, though he would also dramatically expand the system of child care and pre-kindergarten. He also proposes a refundable $4,000 tax credit--equivalent to a direct grant--for community college tuition.

It would also be available to other college students who completed a hundred hours a year of volunteer service.

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: Obama`s Challenge, by Robert Kuttner, p. 98

Barack Obama on College Tuition: (Education Feb 2, 2008)
$4,000 college tuition for 100 hours’ public service a year

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: Campaign booklet, “Blueprint for Change”, p. 20&46

Kirsten Gillibrand on College Tuition: (Education Nov 7, 2006)
More funds for NCLB and early education

Click for Kirsten Gillibrand on other issues.   Source: 2006 Senate campaign website,, “Issues”

Deval Patrick on College Tuition: (Immigration Nov 2, 2005)
Supports in-state tuition rates for illegal immigrants

A war of words has erupted between Attorney General Tom Reilly and Lt. Gov. Kerry Healey after Reilly went to bat for a bill giving state college tuition breaks to illegal immigrants. The pair clashed in a heated impromptu debate yesterday on WRKO-680 AM radio. “Illegal immigrants should not be here,” Healey told the Herald. “When they’re legal, we will welcome them with all the benefits afforded to Massachusetts citizens.”

“She’s totally out of touch,” Reilly said of Healey. “These are kids that just want a chance.“

Healey fired back, saying: ”Tom Reilly is the one who is out of touch with working families of Massachusetts if he thinks they want their tax dollars to pay for illegal immigrants to go to college.“

Deval Patrick also supports the bill. ”Denying kids who qualify in every other way to be an in-state student is unfair,“ Patrick said. ”We shouldn’t be trying to erect barriers.“ Nine other states have laws that allow illegal immigrants to attend state colleges at resident rates.

Click for Deval Patrick on other issues.   Source: Dave Wedge in Boston Herald, “Tuition Breaks”

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Candidates on Education:
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2020 Presidential primary contenders:
Mayor Mike Bloomberg (I-NYC)
Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D-IN)
Sen.Cory Booker (D-NJ)
Secy.Julian Castro (D-TX)
Rep.Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI)
Sen.Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
Gov.John Hickenlooper (D-CO)
Sen.Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
Rep.Beto O`Rourke (D-TX)
Sen.Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
Rep.Joe Walsh (R-IL)
Sen.Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)
Gov.Bill Weld (R-MA&L-NY)
CEO Andrew Yang (D-NY)
2020 Presidential Nominees:
V.P.Joe Biden (D-DE for President)
CEO Don Blankenship (Constitution Party)
Rocky De La Fuente (Alliance/Reform Party)
Howie Hawkins (Green Party)
Sen.Kamala Harris (D-CA for V.P.)
Jo Jorgensen (Libertarian Party)
V.P.Mike Pence (R-IN for re-election)
Gloria La Riva (Socialism and Liberation)
Pres.Donald Trump (R-NY for re-election)
Kanye West (Birthday Party)
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Page last updated: Feb 28, 2022