Washington, Aug 11: Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton has proposed a whopping USD 350 billion plan to help millions of US students pay for their college education and get rid of the prevailing highly exploitative policy of educational loan.
The plan, which Hillary described as "New College Compact", is announced to make college affordable and available to every American.
Estimated to cost US exchequer USD 350 billion over 10 years, the plan has the potential to fundamentally reshape the federal government's role in higher education by offering new federal money.
"Now, for many millions of Americans, a college degree has been the ticket to a better life. College still holds that promise.
A lot has changed in our country, but that hasn't," Hillary said yesterday.
On average, people with four-year degrees earn over a half a million dollars more over their careers than people with high school degrees, she said.
"But student debt increasingly holds people back. Forty million Americans have student loans. Together, they owe USD 1.2 trillion.
As a result, millions of Americans are delinquent or in default. Even if they do everything they can, they just can't keep up," Hillary added.
Noting that college is supposed to help people achieve their dreams, she said more and more paying for it actually pushes those dreams further and further out of reach.
"That is a betrayal of everything college is supposed to represent," Hillary said.
"It's also about whether or not America creates the greatest workforce in the world in this century, just like we did in the last century.
The rest of the world, make no mistake about it, is working as hard as they can to out-do us," she said.
China is on a path to double the number of students enrolled in college by 2030, which means they'll have nearly 200 million college graduates, more than the entire US workforce, Hillary said, adding that she believes American workers can outwork and "out-innovate" anybody in the world if given the training and education they deserve.
"That's why today I'm proposing it's time for a new college compact where everyone does their part. We need to make a quality education affordable and available to everyone willing to work for it, without saddling them with decades of debt," she said.
As per the plan, the US would have to increase its own spending on higher education, and universities would be required to control spending.
"I want every young person in America to know that if you work hard, you can get ahead, and I want America to have your back, just like it did in the past, just like so many of us believe," Hillary said.