Credo Action

Tell Congress: Time for debt-free college

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Petition to Congress:

"Support and actively promote the Debt-Free College Act of 2018, which would resist the growing student debt crisis through a federal-state partnership for debt-free college."

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    Tell Congress: Time for debt-free college

    In the four years since Republicans have controlled Congress, they have produced next to zero serious ideas to end the student debt crisis swallowing an entire generation.1

    Meanwhile, Democrats have put forward serious plans to tackle student debt and make college tuition free. And now, Senate Democrats including Sen. Brian Schatz and Sen. Elizabeth Warren are teaming up on a bold and exciting new proposal to make college completely debt-free.2

    Every signature in support of proposals like these helps show that progressives have ideas that will get America back on track – and expose the utter hypocrisy of Trump-DeVos Republicans who care more about rich funders than our young people. Our voices can keep the student debt crisis on Washington's agenda.

    Tell Congress: Time for debt-free college.

    Sen. Schatz's Debt-Free College Act of 2018 recognizes that the total cost of college can be more than double the listed tuition.3 But unlike some past proposals that used debt-free college as a slogan but did not deliver for all students, Schatz's bill will help the hardest hit while also tackling underlying causes. It would:4

      • Incentivize states to invest in college affordability through one-to-one matching grants for state higher-education funding. States spend $9 billion less on public college than they did a decade ago. Not only must students cover the difference, the weakening of low-price quality competition for expensive private schools contributes to the spiraling cost of higher education.
      • Give states the money only if they provide debt-free college for students – including non-tuition expenses like fees, books and housing. No longer should young people have to go into a lifetime of bondage to Wall Street banks or the federal government just to get an education.
      • Emphasize inclusivity and help for the hardest-hit, forcing states to take care of Pell Grant recipients first and extending Pell Grant eligibility to Dreamers. It would also, end discriminatory questions on financial aid applications that lead to confusion and keep many young people of color from receiving aid and extend help to debt-free college to private institutions that primarily serve people of color, such as historically black colleges.

    Student debt has surpassed credit card debt and is second only to mortgage debt. It cannot be discharged in bankruptcy and is leaving an entire generation unable to afford homes, buy cars or save for the future.5 We need to show that progressives have plans to heal the student debt crisis, and Republicans don't – please raise your voice today.

    Tell Congress: Time for debt-free college.

    Thank you for speaking out.

    References:

    1. Eric Levitz, "This Democratic Senator Has a Plan to Make College Debt-Free for All," New York Magazine, March 25, 2018.
    2. Ella Nilsen, "Exclusive: Sen. Brian Schatz’s ambitious new plan for debt-free college, explained," Vox, March 20, 2018.
    3. Ibid.
    4. Mark Huelsman and Vijay Das, "The Debt-Free College Act of 2018," Demos, March 22, 2018.
    5. Levitz, "This Democratic Senator Has a Plan to Make College Debt-Free for All."