​Clinton promises big changes for students if she wins

The funding of higher education is a current issue globally, and has been a key part of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s campaign in the run-up to the November United States presidential election.

The US has one of the most expensive higher education systems in the world. According to PwC, the state contributes 34% to the cost of higher education. (South Africa contributes 39%.)

“State-funding for public universities decreased significantly over the last decade, which resulted in an increased reliance on tuition fees as a source of revenue,” PwC’s higher education leader, Ernest Carelse, wrote in a note. “This also resulted in student debt in the US exceeding $1-trillion for the first time, in 2014, which is bigger than the nation’s credit card debt of $0.7-trillion.”

The US department of education says it awards about $150-billion a year in grants, work-study funds (which allows a student to pay off debts by working while studying) and low-interest loans to more than 15-million students.

Federal student aid covers expenses such as tuition and fees, accommodation and food, study supplies and transport. The interest rates vary depending on the loan type and currently ranges from 3.76% to 6.31%. US treasury financials show that, in the first quarter of 2016, student loans accounted for 45.7% of total US federal government assets.

According to Clinton’s campaign website, every student should have the option to graduate from a public college or university in their state without taking on any student debt. Her proposal is to spend $500-billion on this over 10 years, and will be fully funded by limiting tax breaks for the wealthy.

Clinton says all community colleges will offer free tuition. Students will also pay no tuition at in-state four-year public colleges and universities. At first, this will apply to students from families earning $85 000 or less a year. By 2021, it will apply to families with an income of up to $125 000 a year.

Borrowers will be able to refinance loans at current rates and will never have to pay more than 10% of their income. All remaining college debt will be forgiven after 20 years.

Clinton also promises to cut interest rates so that the government will never profit from student loans. 

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever. But it comes at a cost. Advertisers are cancelling campaigns, and our live events have come to an abrupt halt. Our income has been slashed.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years. We’ve survived thanks to the support of our readers, we will need you to help us get through this.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.


High Court strikes down ‘paternalistic’ lockdown regulations

The order of unconstitutionality has been suspended for two weeks

L’Oréal workers demand a shutdown of local plant, citing Covid-19...

The French cosmetics company’s Midrand plant has recorded 16 Covid-19 cases in two weeks

Protective equipment for schools in KwaZulu-Natal goes ‘missing’

Without protective equipment, schools in uMlazi, Pinetown and Zululand won’t meet the already delayed deadline for reopening

Press Releases

Empowering his people to unleash their potential

'Being registered as an AGA(SA) means you are capable of engineering an idea and turning it into money,' says Raymond Mayekisa

What is an AGA(SA) and AT(SA) and why do they matter?

If your company has these qualified professionals it will help improve efficiencies and accelerate progress by assisting your organisation to perform better

Mining company uses rich seam of technology to gear up for Covid-19

Itec Direct technology provides instant temperature screening of staff returniing to the workplace with no human contact

Covid-19 and Back to School Webinar

If our educators can take care of themselves, they can take care of the children they teach

5G technology is the future

Besides a healthcare problem Covid-19 is also a data issue and 5G technology, with its lightning speed, can help to curb its spread

JTI off to court for tobacco ban: Government not listening to industry or consumers

The tobacco ban places 109 000 jobs and 179 000 wholesalers and retailers at risk — including the livelihood of emerging farmers

Holistic Financial Planning for Professionals Webinar

Our lives are constantly in flux, so it makes sense that your financial planning must be reviewed frequently — preferably on an annual basis

Undeterred by Covid-19 pandemic, China and Africa hold hands, building a community of a shared future for mankind

It is clear that building a community with a shared future for all mankind has become a more pressing task than ever before

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday