Hillary Clinton unveiled a “New College Compact”—a $350 billion proposal—as part of her 2016 presidential platform this week, promising to ease the cost of higher education and, in the same breath, reduce student debt.
In the broader proposal, Clinton proposes that states “will have to step up … by maintaining current levels of higher education funding and reinvesting their time,” and colleges and universities will have to control their costs to make tuition affordable, among other points.
Clinton, however, also includes provisions specifically directed at historically black colleges and universities, including a dedicated $25 billion fund to provide support to private HBCUs, targeting low- and middle-income students and helping them build the skills they need.
Regardless of their public or private status, Clinton’s plan also proposes the following for all HBCUs:
* Making significant cuts to the interest rates that students pay on any loans they take out so that the government never profits on the loans;
* Enabling students with debt to refinance their loans at low current rates;
* Allowing parents with PLUS loans to refinance at current rates;
* Extending the American Opportunity Tax Credit, with its $1,000 refundable credit, to low-income families sending their sons and daughters to these schools;
* Ensuring that parents who borrow through the PLUS program will not have to take on such high levels of debt in order to send their children and grandchildren to these schools;
* Ensuring that students never have to repay more than 10 percent of their monthly income;
* Building on programs such as Trio and GEAR UP to invest in student support, including child care for students who are parents, to help all students stay in school and boost completion.
“Hillary Clinton is committed to making college affordable for all of South Carolina’s students and families. Her proposal for a federal-state partnership is an innovative idea that will help lower the skyrocketing cost of higher education,” state Sen. Darrell Jackson, a graduate of private HBCU Benedict College, said in a press release.
Read more about the New College Compact benefits for HBCUs here.