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Elizabeth Warren's Higher Education Plan: Eliminate Tuition and Cancel Student Debt

As student loan debt continues to rise, the issue has forced itself into the Democratic presidential primary, with several candidates promising to expand access to federal grants or eliminate tuition at public or community colleges. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont was credited with thrusting the issue of free college on the national stage during his 2016 presidential run, but Ms. Warren has pushed the idea further, calling for the government to cancel debt expansion to college affordability. In statements provided by the campaign Monday, scholars and education advocates said Ms. Warren's policy would improve the financial futures of a debt-burdened generation of young people, and help reduce the racial wealth gap between white people and racial minorities, who have been disproportionately borne by student loans. "Going to college shouldn't result in a lifetime sentence of student debt, but that is what is happening and it's only getting worse, ”said Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, the powerful union whose endorsement is often essential for Democrats. “Senator Warren's plan would release Americans from their debt sentence so they can live their lives, care for their families and have a fair shot at the American dream.” Ms. Warren's policy would also prohibit colleges from considering citizenship status and criminal history in admission decisions, cut off federal money from for-profit colleges, and require an annual equity audit for public colleges that would identify “shortfalls in enrollment and completion rates for lower -income students and students of color. ” While Ms.…

As student loan debt continues to rise, the issue has forced itself into the Democratic presidential primary, with several candidates promising to expand access to federal grants or eliminate tuition at public or community colleges. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont was credited with thrusting the issue of free college on the national stage during his 2016 presidential run, but Ms. Warren has pushed the idea further, calling for the government to cancel debt expansion to college affordability.

In statements provided by the campaign Monday, scholars and education advocates said Ms. Warren’s policy would improve the financial futures of a debt-burdened generation of young people, and help reduce the racial wealth gap between white people and racial minorities, who have been disproportionately borne by student loans.

“Going to college shouldn’t result in a lifetime sentence of student debt, but that is what is happening and it’s only getting worse, ”said Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, the powerful union whose endorsement is often essential for Democrats. “Senator Warren’s plan would release Americans from their debt sentence so they can live their lives, care for their families and have a fair shot at the American dream.”

Ms. Warren’s policy would also prohibit colleges from considering citizenship status and criminal history in admission decisions, cut off federal money from for-profit colleges, and require an annual equity audit for public colleges that would identify “shortfalls in enrollment and completion rates for lower -income students and students of color. ”

While Ms. Warren’s proposals have made her popular among left-leaning intellectuals, which remains to be seen in that will translate into support from the broader Democratic electorate. She has been involved in early fund-raising after pledging to sustain her presidential run through grass-roots donations instead of the high-dollar fund raisers that many of her democratic rivals have enjoyed.

endurance, traveling to states atypical for campaigning this early in the primary process, including Mississippi, Tennessee, Utah and Colorado, and through here near-constant stream of detailed proposals.

When asked recently if she could keep up this frenzied pace of policy announcements, Ms. Warren laughed

“I love this,” she responded.

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