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education is not a business
Bob Bob via Flickr / Creative Commons

Hillary Clinton wants to make college free for most people

Picking up on an important policy of Bernie Sanders’ campaign, the potential presidential candidate wants to make uni tuition-free for 80 per cent of students

Tuition fees suck, basically. Paying for what should be a fundamental right sucks, and making education inaccessible to particular demographics sucks even more. But that might soon change, with the U.S elections on their way. Hillary Clinton has announced new plans that would abolish tuition fees for more than 80 per cent of college students in the United States by 2021. Bernie Sanders, her Democrat opponent, has praised the adoption of one of his already major policies.

The plan would make college education tuition-free for families with salaries under $125,000 a year. Her campaign details that it would the cut off would start at $85,000 and increase by $10,000 annually. Money coming in from high income tax loopholes would fund it.

It’s a victory for the Sanders campaign, who detail a totally free college plan – although not totally in parallel with their ideas, it's a step in the right direction for two Democratic candidates who have been at odds over other issues. Initially, Clinton planned to bring in grants and options to refinance loans that would combat serious debt. Now however, her campaign will require just 15 per cent of households in higher salary ranges to pay for university. Reports say it could be a step towards Sanders endorsing Clinton for the presidency.

In a statement, Sanders said: “This proposal, when implemented, will revolutionize the funding of higher education in America, improve the economic future of our country and make life immediately better for tens of millions of people stuck with high levels of student debt.

I want to take this opportunity to applaud Secretary Clinton for the very bold initiative she has just brought forth today for the financing of higher education.”

Clinton and Sanders met last month to discuss their policies and pathways in Washington. Previously, she was opposed to free tuition, stating that wealthy families had the ability to pay. “I disagree with free college for everybody. I don’t think taxpayers should be paying to send Donald Trump’s kids to college,” she said back in November.

Now, it’s a very different story. “While Donald Trump offers little more than broken promises to get rich quick, I remain committed to ensuring that a college degree is attainable for anyone in this country with the desire and determination to earn one,” Clinton said in a statement.