With just over a year until the 2016 presidential election, candidates from both parties have found themselves having to answer more and more questions regarding how they feel about what some have called the student loan debt crisis. As such, here’s where a few of the 2016 Republican presidential candidates stand on student loan debt:
Bush has called on colleges to help ensure students graduate on time so they don’t continue to accumulate debt over years. In addition, he has said that colleges need to help students select degrees that will lead to employment after graduation. A more detailed plan on what specifically Bush will do to ensure these changes happen is reportedly on the horizon. What we do know is his plan will operate as a ‘market-oriented approach,’ which is intended to lower costs and place more accountability on higher education.
To date, Carson has not released a plan that would make significant changes to how students pay for college. He was opposed to President Obama’s plan to provide two years of free community college, suggesting that Pell Grants can be used instead. He has also noted that students should take personal responsibility for the cost of college through hard work. In addition, Carson has indicated that universities should be accountable for the interest on student loans, with students being responsible only for the principal. He believes this will force colleges and universities to make higher education more affordable.
Trump has stated that he does not believe the federal government should profit from student loans. (The federal government is reported to have made more than $41 billion in profit from student loans.) To date, Trump has not indicated where he stands on the current student loan forgiveness programs. However, he has indicated that his focus is on creating jobs for college graduates so they are able to pay back their student loans.
Rubio has laid out an extremely detailed plan for dealing with rising student debt. A key tenet of the plan is creating new financial aid programs so working students may attend school at night, on the weekends, and during the evening. He also calls for making vocational education and career education programs more widespread.
In addition, Rubio’s plan includes a requirement that colleges and universities inform students of what their likely earnings will be based on their degrees, before they choose to take on student debt. He also plans to create greater competition amongst colleges by reforming the accreditation system to include low-cost higher education providers, which he believes will decrease the cost of going to college. And finally, when it comes time to repay student loans, Rubio’s plan will be commensurate with the graduate’s income.
Now that you know the republicans positions, check out what the democratic candidates are saying about student loan debt.