The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

Dems face college tuition


By Andrew Potocki
[email protected]

With the school year just starting at the University of Iowa and many students getting a good look at this semester’s expenses, the top-three Democratic candidates vying for their party’s nomination promise to put an end to student debt — or at the very least, lower it.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was the most recent candidate to release a college-affordability plan, which came out in August. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley released their plans earlier this year, in May and July respectively.

While the candidates argue for their respective plans, it seems college students will have a bigger part to play in this election than they may have thought as the debate over the rising costs of tuition moves more into the spotlight of the Democratic race.

Below is a breakdown of each of the candidates’ plans to reduce college debt and make higher education more affordable.

Sarah O'Brien/The Daily Iowan Senator Hillary Clinton waves to the crowd after her speech at the Harkin Steak Fry in Indianola, Iowa, on Sunday, September 16, 2007. Clinton told the crowd what her goals will be if she is elected to the White House.

Hillary Clinton

Plan for college debt:

“New College Compact” would help many pay for college and reduce interest rates for people with

   student loans.

• Community-college attendance would be free.

Tuition at four-year universities and colleges will be reduced through a combination of federal and state

   aid as well as cost controls on universities.

•Savings for students would be based on family income.

•Lower interest rates on student-loan programs.


• Roughly $350 billion over the next 10 years.

Plan to pay:

•Tax deductions for higher-income Americans.

•Decrease level of investment by states in their respective university budgets.

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders looks out into the crowd as he is introduced at the 2015 Iowa Democratic Hal of Fame inside the Double Tree Hotel in Cedar Rapids on Friday, July 17, 2015. Sanders' campaign has seen a dramatic increase in support in the past weeks. (The Daily Iowan/Sergio Flores)

Bernie Sanders

Plan for college debt:

•“College for All” plan would provide free tuition at all public colleges and universities.

Federal government would pay for two-thirds of the cost of public-college tuition, while state

  governments would have to pick up the remaining third.

•Student-loan interest rates would be cut a little over 2 percent, and would be tied to inflation.


• Roughly $750 billion over the next 10 years.

Plan to pay:

•Plans to impose a 0.5 percent tax on stock trades, 0.1 percent fee on bonds, and a 0.005 percent

  fee on derivatives trading in order to pay for the plan.

Former Governor of Maryland Martin J. O'Malley visited the Iowa Democratic Party Awards Dinner at Des Moines, Iowa, on Friday, April 10, 2015. (The Daily Iowan/Peter Kim)

Martin O’Malley

Plan for college debt:

Debt-free access to a college degree for all students within  five years.

•Multi-part plan includes freezing tuition rates at public universities.

•Work with states to ensure legislatures invest more in higher education.

•Tuition rates would be lowered to no more than 10  percent of the state median income at four-year public  institutions, and no more than 5 percent of median income at two-year public institutions.

•Pell Grants and state grants would be increased to  cover non-tuition costs.

•Funding for the federal work study program would be tripled in order to accommodate more students.

•Federal and state government would share the expenses of childcare on campus as well as accommodating parents by encouraging online courses and reducing amount of time it takes to graduate.


• Has not released estimated cost.

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