Reform Student Loan System, Provide Free Partial College Tuition, and Ensure that Public Schools Work for Our Children
Too many young Americans are saddled with enormous student-loan debt upon graduating from universities. This debt forces many to find the highest paying jobs in the private sector instead of considering public-service or non-profit work in underserved communities. Chris Perri will champion a student-loan forgiveness program that applies to recent graduates who bring their new skills to communities in the greatest need.
Interest rates are too high on student loans, with private banking corporations reaping the profits. It’s a shame that educating our population has become a for-profit industry for several banking corporations. Recognizing education as an investment in our future, the federal government should subsidize all student loans so that no interest accrues while students attend universities. The government should also reduce the nominal interest rates on these loans so that they're the equivalent of the inflation rate, effectively instituting a real interest rate of 0%.
Ultimately, our federal government should provide a free undergraduate tuition option for attendance at public universities. Our government doesn’t currently have the necessary $250 billion to make this happen today, so a starting point is a program that offers two years of college tuition for free, providing all 18-year-olds with a free path towards an Associate’s Degree, with the option of later obtaining loans to complete a four-year degree. This free-tuition option would also extend to people who decide to enroll in vocational-training schools instead of attending college.
Although federal funds only account for 8% of the overall financing of primary and secondary schools, this money is vital for communities where there aren’t enough state and local funds. Under Betsy DeVos, the Department of Education is trying to take this money away from public education. Chris Perri will fight such short-sighted policies, along with advocating to invest more in the future of our children.