In an interview with The Daily Iowan, Senator Elizabeth Warren said she would rally both Democrats and Republicans on her plans to implement a universal free college and a major cancellation program for the student debt.

Katie goodale

Senator Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., Speaks during her event at IMU on Monday, December 2, 2019. Warren spoke about climate change and women’s rights.

Elizabeth Warren will engage both Democrats and Republicans with her ultra-millionaire tax to pay for universal free college and blanket student debt cancellation, she promised in an interview with The Iowan Daily.

She said it is good policy to run in the general election because Republican voters will find they are “cheated”, referring to millionaires and billionaires who do not pay their fair share of taxes.

“And if we’re just a little fairer, we can invest in this whole generation,” Warren said in the interview with the DI before speaking to a group of about 600 people at the University of Iowa. “So I think that’s something we’re going to bring everyone on board.”

The U.S. senator from Massachusetts often outlined her higher education policy on Monday at City Hall in the IMU’s main lounge. She shortened her original speech in order to answer about 15 questions from the audience.

She has campaigned largely on her wealth tax and higher education plans since announcing her candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination, linking them to her experience at a suburban college for $ 50. per semester before becoming a teacher in a public school. She later attended a public law school where she paid $ 450 per semester.

by Warren wealth tax would only apply to households with net worth over $ 50 million – or the richest 0.1% – and they would be taxed annually 2% for every dollar earned after $ 50 million, and 6% for every dollar earned after $ 1 billion.

According to Warren higher education policy proposals, that would fully pay the universal free university for two- and four-year public colleges and universities, and write off up to $ 50,000 in student loan debt for 42 million people.

Warren’s plan would forgive both public and private student loans. By removing the complexities of existing student loan programs, Warren said the Education Department would have the ability to run a forgiveness program without having to hire more people. Since all private loans will be refinanced as federal loans as part of its plan, the loans would be streamlined into a single system to be managed by the Department of Education.

“But once [the loan is] in the system, it doesn’t matter what type of loan it is, ”Warren told the DI. “It doesn’t matter if you have it on Parent PLUS or one of the three-year programs or one of the long-term programs – whatever the program, loans are all treated the same.”

Video: Watch Senator Elizabeth Warren’s full interview with the DI


Robert Kelchen, associate professor of higher education at Seton Hall University in New Jersey, said he was skeptical of the Education Department’s ability to handle a massive student debt cancellation program , he said a universal free college in the United States would be economically feasible.

But, Kelchen said it might be difficult to get state governments to comply with tuition-free two- and four-year colleges and universities. He also said universities may try to find ways to charge students extra fees.

Warren said she is counting on students across the country to advocate for a universal free college so the plan receives support from state governments. She also said the policy would require the state to continue paying the same amount of money to universities and agree not to add any other fees to students.

Warren said she also plans to extend the Pell Scholarships, a form of financial aid given to those in the highest financial need on the free Federal Student Aid app, by $ 100 billion, to to cover expenses other than tuition for students attending a public college or university, such as living expenses, and to make Pell scholarships available to students attending private schools.

“The problem with free college programs is that if a lot more students go to college, are the colleges getting the resources they need to provide quality education? Kelchen said. “And there are parts of his plan that try to help him, but it’s not clear if that would necessarily go far enough.”

According to his plan, experts estimate the one-time cost of his student debt cancellation program at $ 640 billion. The free and universal college program would cost $ 1.25 trillion over ten years.

Paige Harkan, 19, a UI student, told City Hall on Dec. 2 that she plans to form a caucus for Warren in February. She said the politics of higher education was extremely important to her when choosing a candidate, and said she believed Warren had the personality and skills to implement something like a free college. universal.

“I definitely plan on going to graduate school, if not going into a doctoral program, and higher education has always been very important to me,” Harkan said. “And I hope if I had kids someday they might want to [pursue] higher education too, and… it’s just something that means a lot to me.


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