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Stand with Sen. Sanders: Make college free

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Petition to Congress:

"Pass the College for All Act, which would eliminate tuition and fees at public four-year colleges and universities for those making less than $125,000 per year and make community college fee and tuition-free for all."

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    Stand with Sen. Sanders: Make college free

    Sen. Bernie Sanders’ new bill is Betsy DeVos and Donald Trump’s worst nightmare.

    In just a few months, DeVos has already blocked Obama-era programs to help students deal with crushing education debt, and Trump’s budget called for slashing funding for lower-income students to go to college. In contrast, Sen. Sanders and champions like Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Rep. Keith Ellison are showing what progressive populism looks like.1

    Sen. Sanders’ College for All Act would scrap tuition and fees at public colleges and universities for families making less than $125,000 a year, helping make college more affordable for countless Americans.2 Every signature in support of this bill helps show that progressives have popular solutions to America’s most pressing problems.

    Stand with Sen. Sanders: Make college free.

    If Betsy DeVos has her way, you will have to be a Trump kid to afford college. In the short few months since Republicans rammed through her nomination, she has already trashed Obama-era rules protecting students from unscrupulous for-profit colleges, limits on what lenders can charge students struggling to repay loans and plans to streamline how the government manages education debt. It’s no surprise, since she answers to a man who had to pay $25 million to settle charges that he defrauded students of Trump University.3,4

    In contrast, Sen. Sanders’ new College for All bill would help make college affordable. It would:5

    • Make public universities and colleges tuition- and fee-free for families making less than $125,000 per year, offer free community college with no tuition and fees for all, and eliminate or reduce fees and tuitions at schools that serve historically underrepresented minorities.
    • Use existing aid to combat the cost of college, so low-income students could use Pell Grants for books instead of university fees, states and tribes have incentives and funding to reduce costs, and work-study programs would triple in size.
    • Slash interest rates by offering students the lowest interest rates possible and finally allowing them to refinance student loans at today’s low rates.

    Today, education debt – also known as student debt, even though parents and grandparents are often on the hook to pay it back – is a trillion-dollar scheme to redistribute wealth away from poor and working-class people. Sen. Sanders and other progressive champions are fighting back by taxing Wall Street and stopping government from profiting off of student loans in order to finance tuition-free college for millions of young people.

    Stand with Sen. Sanders: Make college free.

    Student debt has followed the same track as broader economic inequality. As the worst of the 1 percent – like DeVos and Trump – have hoarded most of our economic gains, wages and family incomes have stagnated. Public university education has been slashed to pay for tax handouts for the richest few. Without cheap, quality public education to hold down prices, tuition at all colleges has skyrocketed – in fact, college in the U.S. has gotten 12 times more expensive in one generation.6

    Every dollar spent on education is an investment in America’s future, and a nation as powerful as ours can always afford wise investments – we have only lacked the political will. That’s now changing, and we need to stand alongside the progressive champions pushing for a true alternative to Trump’s top-down class war.

    Stand with Sen. Sanders: Make college free.

    Thank you for speaking out.

    1. George Zornick, “ Bernie Sanders Just Introduced His Free College Tuition Plan,” The Nation, April 3, 2017.
    2. Ibid.
    3. Ibid.
    4. Stacy Cowley and Jessica Silver-Greenberg, “DeVos Halts Obama-Era Plan to Revamp Student Loan Management,” The New York Times, April 14, 2017.
    5. Sen. Bernie Sanders, “The College For All Act,” accessed April 14, 2017.
    6. Katie Rose Quandt, "College Has Gotten 12 Times More Expensive in One Generation," Mother Jones, Sept. 3, 2014.