With presidential candidates hoping to court young voters, it’s not surprising that the student debt crisis and the rising cost of a college education have become key campaign issues. While Hillary Clinton has promised to make college more affordable, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and Dr. Jill Stein want to make it accessible to everyone.
As of the end of June, the Federal Reserve estimated there were about $1.19 trillion dollars worth of seriously delinquent education loans, according to USA Today, with many analysts predicting that this debt crisis could cause another serious financial collapse. A recent study by the Brookings Institution suggested predatory behavior by for-profit colleges created a substantial portion of this debt, as Shadowproof’s Dan Wright reported earlier this month.
Heather Gautney, a professor of sociology at Fordham University, openly praised Clinton’s ideas in an analysis of Sanders and Clinton’s competing college plans published in August on Sanders’ official campaign website. “[T]he Clinton plan doesn’t go far enough,” Gautney argued, warning that it would still place too much burden on struggling families and students: “It fails to place the issue of college affordability in the proper context: as a societal, rather than an individual, problem.”