Bernie Sanders

Sanders Campaign Press Release - Sanders in Iowa Focuses on College Affordability

October 19, 2015

OSKALOOSA, Iowa – Meeting with students at William Penn University, U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders on Monday laid out his plan to address college costs and bring down student loan interest rates.

Sanders discussed his college affordability plan after fielding a question from a student who said she had to take out a $20,000 loan at an 8 percent interest rate.

The senator from Vermont and candidate for the Democratic Party presidential nomination has proposed legislation to cover tuition costs for qualified students at public colleges and universities. He also wants to substantially lower interest rates on student loans.

Iowa was a national leader in providing a universal high school education for all students in the first half of the 20th century when public secondary schools saw a rapid increase in enrollment. That movement made a high school diploma the ticket to a solid, middle-class job.

"In the year 2015, now is the time to extend that idea to colleges and universities," Sanders said. "That is why I am fighting for free tuition at public colleges and universities. The world has changed. We are living in a highly competitive global economy and for us to succeed we need the best educated workforce in the world."

Sanders' legislation would also overhaul student loan programs so students and their parents could reduce crushing debt loads. Federal profits on loans would be eliminated, work-study programs expanded and incentives offered for colleges and universities to keep costs down.

The federal portion of Sanders' proposal would be offset by imposing a tax on Wall Street transactions by investment houses, hedge funds and other speculators.

More than 1,000 economists have endorsed a tax on Wall Street speculation and today some 40 countries throughout the world – including Britain, Germany, France, Switzerland, and China – have imposed a similar tax.

To read more about Sanders college affordability plan, click here.

Bernie Sanders, Sanders Campaign Press Release - Sanders in Iowa Focuses on College Affordability Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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