Yesterday Senator Elizabeth Warren's
presidential primary campaign announced her higher education policy
, with the promise of cancelling student debt for nearly 43 million Americans. In addition, Warren also called to make public two- and four- year colleges tuition free, to create a federal fund for historically black colleges, to prohibit colleges from considering the citizenship status and criminal history of applicants in admissions decisions, and to eliminate federal subsidies for for-profit colleges.
Senator Warren’s plan would cancel $50,000 in student loan debt for every person with a household income under $100,000. The program would also provide a sliding scale of support in student debt cancellation for every person with a household income between $100,000 and $250,000. Warren’s campaign plans to fund these policies by taxing people who hold over $50 million in wealth.
Roughly 45 million Americans have student loan debt, with New Hampshire holding the highest average student loan debt, according to the most recent data from the Institute for College Access and Success
. When the average New Hampshire student crossed the graduation stage in 2017, they owed over $36,000 in student loans. Pennsylvania and Connecticut also topped the list for the average amount of student debt graduates owe
. Utah was the state with the lowest average student debt, with Utah graduates owing $19,975, the only state that’s average student debt was just under $20,000.
Bernie Sanders, another 2020 contender, popularized the idea of eliminating tuition for two- and four-year public colleges during his 2016 presidential primary run. Other presidential primary hopefuls have also expressed support for addressing the college debt issue, including Senator Kamala Harris, Senator Cory Booker, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, and former U.S. Representative Beto O’Rourke.