Making college debt-free and taking on student debt

Note: This page is a reproduction of the Hillary for America policy proposal on making college debt-free and taking on student debt. 

Hillary has a comprehensive plan to put higher education within reach for all Americans, and take on the crisis of student debt.

Here’s what every student and family should expect under Hillary’s plan:

Costs won’t be a barrier

  • Every student should have the option to graduate from a public college or university in their state without taking on any student debt. By 2021, families with income up to $125,000 will pay no tuition at in-state four-year public colleges and universities. And from the beginning, every student from a family making $85,000 a year or less will be able to go to an in-state four-year public college or university without paying tuition.
  • All community colleges will offer free tuition.
  • Everyone will do their part. States will have to step up and invest in higher education, and colleges and universities will be held accountable for the success of their students and for controlling tuition costs.
  • A $25 billion fund will support historically black colleges and universities, Hispanic-serving institutions, and other minority-serving institutions in building new ladders of opportunity for students. 
  • The one-quarter of all college students who are also parents will get the support they need and the resources they deserve.

Debt won’t hold you back

  • Borrowers will be able to refinance loans at current rates, providing debt relief to an estimated 25 million people. They’ll never have to pay back more than 10 percent of their income, and all remaining college debt will be forgiven after 20 years.
  • Delinquent borrowers and those in default will get help to protect their credit and get back on their feet.
    To reduce the burden for future borrowers, Hillary will significantly cut interest rates so the government never profits from college student loans.
  • Hillary’s plan will crack down on predatory schools, lenders, and bill collectors.
  • A new payroll deduction portal for employers and employees will simplify the repayment process—and Hillary will explore more options to encourage employers to help pay down student debt.
  • Aspiring entrepreneurs will be able to defer their loans with no payments or interest for up to three years. Social entrepreneurs and those starting new enterprises in distressed communities will be eligible for up to $17,500 in loan forgiveness.
  • Hillary will take immediate executive action to offer a three-month moratorium on student loan payments to all federal loan borrowers. That will give every borrower a chance to consolidate their loans, sign up for income-based repayment plans, and take advantage of opportunities to reduce their monthly interest payments and fees.

Fully paid for: This plan will be fully paid for by limiting certain tax expenditures for high-income taxpayers.