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Schools silent on Bernie Sanders’ plan to make college tuition-free

Socialist candidate has proposed eliminating $1.5 trillion in student debt

Numerous colleges and universities are unwilling to talk about Bernie Sanders’ proposal to cancel student debt and make American higher education tuition-free. The avowedly socialist candidate for president has promised to wipe out well over a trillion dollars in student debt.

With the approach of the 2020 presidential election, Democratic candidates are rushing to define themselves and stand out on the crowded debate stage. Many of them have proposed variations of debt-free, tuition-free higher education, as well as generous student debt forgiveness programs.

Bernie Sanders, the Democratic Party’s premier socialistic candidate who is famous for advocating expansive government services such as free education and healthcare, has declared his own policy goal to erase all student loan debt in America with his College for All act.

Sanders’ proposal “completely eliminates student debt in this country,” ending what the candidate calls “the absurdity of sentencing an entire generation, the millennial generation, to a lifetime of debt,” according to CNN.

Schools won’t comment on the plan

The College Fix reached out to a dozen schools across America, large and small, public and private, for their take on Sanders’ student debt cancellation proposal. All of them were either unwilling to talk about the matter or admitted they were unable to predict how Sanders’s plan would affect them.

“As this is a proposal, with many undefined variables, the University is unable to speculate on how it would impact our organization,” said a University of Minnesota spokesperson.

“Bernie Sanders’ proposal would apply to public colleges and universities, and SMU is a private institution,” said Southern Methodist University spokeswoman Kim Cobb.

That is apparently incorrect. Sanders’s plan promises to “forgive the outstanding balance of interest and principal due on all eligible Federal student loans.” Loans made to students at private institutions do not appear to be excluded from this plan. Southern Methodist University accepts federal loans.

The University of Wisconsin, Texas A&M, and the University of Wisconsin all declined to comment. Brown, MIT, the University of Vermont, Carleton College, the George Washington University, Arizona State University, the University of Iowa, and St. Olaf College did not respond to requests for a statement on the act.

In addition to its debt-relief function, the act, according to its legislation, seeks to “enable the States and eligible Indian entities to eliminate tuition and required fees for all eligible students at community colleges, public 4-year institutions of higher education in the State, or Tribal Colleges and Universities.”

Sanders previously introduced similar legislation in 2016. At that time, on his website, Sanders slammed the “unacceptable” higher education system in the United States, praising numerous other countries for their approach to funding college.

“In Denmark, not only is college free of tuition and fees, people who go to college in that country actually get paid to go to college,” the senator said.

Sanders pledged to tax various Wall Street transactions and investments in order to pay for the new educational provisions.

MORE: Only one Democrat won’t ask taxpayers to pay his student loans back

MORE: I took out $40K in student loans. It’s my responsibility to pay it back.

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About the Author
Kyle is a sophomore at St. Olaf College where he studies political science and history. Kyle has worked as staff on a congressional campaign, interned with the Center of The American Experiment, serves as Vice Chair for the Minnesota College Republicans, has contributed to conservative outlets across the web, and was named the 2018 Minnesota College Republicans Activist of the Year.

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