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Clinton Sidesteps Email Scandal, Proposes Free College

Clinton Sidesteps Email Scandal, Proposes Free College
Susan Dutca-Lovell

Not even a day after the FBI announced her "extremely careless" dissemination of sensitive and classified information via a private server, Hillary Clinton proposed a tuition-free college program for roughly 80 percent of American families. Amidst the email traffic scandal, Clinton is moving forward and attempting to handle a new beast: college affordability.

Clinton, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, also feels the Bern when it comes to college tuition. But unlike Bernie Sanders - who proposed free public higher education for all - she proposed "debt-free" education for students from families with incomes of up to $125,000. The plan, aimed to entice young voters, would offer free tuition to families earning $85,000 a year at first and gradually increase to a $125,000 threshold by 2021. Furthermore, she pledged to restore year-round Pell grants and impose a three-month moratorium on all repayments for federal student loans, which would allow borrowers to finance their loans or move into income-based repayment options.

Clinton herself cautioned young Bernie supporters in the past saying, "When somebody tells you something is free, ask for the fine print." With a looming national debt exceeding $19T ($1.3T of which is student loan debt), freebies may seem appealing. However, the issue of tuition inflation persists. Incentives such as these are not available to hardworking parents and incentivize families to make a calculated goal to meet the bare minimum requirements, and nothing beyond it. Furthermore, students who have spent years paying off their student loan debt will not be receiving any reimbursement checks. Many taxpayers who wouldn't receive any benefits from the program (those who have already paid college tuition for their progeny or don't have kids) are forced to pay into programs they may not support.

Though Clinton may face consequences as large as losing her security clearance, she made no comments regarding the FBI's address and instead focused on solving one of the nation's largest debt issues.

In your opinion, do you think a free college education program is feasible? Do you think it will help alleviate or solve the student debt issue? Leave your thoughtful opinions below to start a discussion.

Comments (21)
Louise 7/31/2016
If they mean free or completely federally funded like health care be cautious. Nothing is truly free. The federal government has not paid the promised subsidies amounts to the insurance companies for the people who bought insurance through the marketplace. That is why insurance companies are either pulling out or raising premiums.
Diego B 7/22/2016
In my opinion, I think college affordability is a big issue for most people. I, (not being american born, but raised) have seen how so many people struggle with college. In 2018, I will be the first person in my family to graduate with a bachelors, and this year I was the first to ever get an AA. I was lucky enough to get a scholarship to Miami Dade College (American Dream Scholarship), which paid for my first two years, now I must pay for my college out of my own money, because Financial Aid doesn't cover me because of my legality issues. I have seen so many people who are lucky enough to get financial aid, which covers some of the cost of college, and yet abuse of it, getting bad grades, going to college just for the money and not using it on books, saving it for a car and then dropping out of college. So in my opinion yes, there should be financial help for people to go to college and university, but it should not be for everyone, there should be standards, grades should determine.
Kimberly D. 7/15/2016
Yes free should be provided for people starting college.
Olga 7/12/2016
I am for free public colleges and universities! You shouldn't underestimate benefits for US society and economy in the future when nation will be widely educated and intelligent. The key point - universities have to set GPA passing score, requirements to semester credits and attendance standards for students. Free education has to be challenging and intensive. We used to have free universities in Russia and whose who wanted to excel but couldn't afford that was the only chance to gain degree. Whose who didn't want education never went to colleges even for free.
Shubert Luhanga 7/11/2016
I need support in terms of Money to pay fees for my Wife who is in to start her fourth year at Livingstonia University in Malawi. She is Pershing Bachelor's of Public health. Am the one who has been paying for her but now am literary bankruptcy, so help me so that she can finish her education with the remaining one year. I beg your help.
Dana P 7/8/2016
Since I only make 21,000 a year and I have a daughter who is going to be a College Freshman this year, I say YES to free college. I just pray that she gets to graduate from college. Because I can't afford to send her.
WilltheycovermyMBA? 7/7/2016
@simone j: Based on your multiple, poorly thought through (to say nothing of your spelling...) answers, you should not be debating the pros and cons of education. Instead spending your time and energy getting one would seem to be the best way to spend your time.
Tim P. 7/7/2016
What's to stop unmotivated people from taking advantage of free college and more or less partying on government funds? And what about families who qualify for this aid but are financially disciplined enough that they don't need it (such as my own family)? Pouring taxpayer money over a huge peecentage of the population and hoping it helps those who need it is wasteful. What could all that money do elsewhere? This website is itself evidence that determination, hard work, and financial discipline can lead to an affordable college. Scholarships and other opportunities are available to those who pursue them. Individual responsibility is key. I know there are people who are hard-working but need help to bridge the gap. The issue is that there are much more efficient ways to help people and much more individualized criteria for determining who really needs the help. Our job is to keep looking for solutions to help us and our fellow students, not to rely on the government to do everything.
Simone j. 7/7/2016
Free is not the answer! Affordable is the solution!
Diana Hrisca 7/7/2016
So if I paid all my student loans and had to struggle to pay for college what do I get? Why do people get a break when others in the past haven't
Kevin A 7/6/2016
Clinton should be indicted. "Free college" means more taxes to be paid.
Simone j. 7/6/2016
Tuition should be free for out-state students cause they pay is the most.Tuition should free to go to any college but at least pay for room and boarder and lunch with insurance included but at a reasonable estimate cause not eveyone have insurance and paying $500 dollars a month when your paycheck is less than that cone on
Simone j. 7/6/2016
Paying is not the the problem what is the problem is that tuition is to high especially for out of state students.You know going to a university as an in-state is so cheap I don't understand how we have a debt unless everybody who is in it is all out-of state debt and they need to work on that issue other than that college is not that expensive if you can go as a in-state student just make right decisions tuition free for out-state students a must !
R.L. 7/6/2016
"When somebody tells you something is free, ask for the fine print." My question is what is the fine print Hilary?
Tatum S. 7/6/2016
Nothing good in this life is free. People should be very cautious of those who offer such amazing things with only their word to back it up. She obviously can't be trusted from the way her actions aren't meeting up with her words. Free college is something that sure, sounds great, but is unrealistic. We could work on making it a bit more affordable but free isn't the solution. Too many cons to make it worth it. People have done it before, they can do it some more. There is a proper solution and free college is not it.
Yasminp 7/6/2016
Yes, absolutely a debt free education would benefit a lot of Americans. Many people don't attend college because of tuition cost. They end working in jobs making minimum wage.
Bob 7/6/2016
This is Clinton trying to buy off the Bernie supporters. She thinks everyone can be bought off with a bribe as easily as her. But a true American takes pride in earning their way through life. Those that need mama Obama or granny Clinton to buy things for them better think twice about the hard working people they are stealing from. Nobody owes you nothing, go earn it, be proud, be American.
Lori S 7/6/2016
NOTHING is this world is free! If you have the desire and the motivation to make a better life for yourself, you have to work for it the way I did and everyone else did! Either work really hard so you can get scholarships or.... Use the free college system already in place... Join the military!
Rick B 7/6/2016
Once again the hardworking families are penalized. Free for all or not free at all
Alpha Tango-lima 7/6/2016
Yes, such a plan will have positive effect on those seeking higher education at the bachelir's level. It is important that scholarship efforts are not frustrated and so heavily commercialized that it turns off those who really need it. Even this service via must be simply fried and freed from all the gimmicks and trappings. Alpha Tang College professor
Paul C 7/6/2016
It's unfair to ignore and punish people who worked throughout college and took out loans to better themselves.
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