Earlier this week on Monday (10th of August), State Secretary Hillary Clinton announced her College Compact plan for higher education, a plan which seems to be at the core of her planned reforms, should she get elected. Even if the Hillary Clinton college plan is still in the making and its specific details don’t seem to be too clear yet, it was revealed that it will most likely stand on 4 main pillars that will bring its mission to fruition and support it on the longer run. These four main pillars from Hillary Clinton’s plan are the following:
1. Incentive-based subsidies
According to Ms. Clinton’s speech, states will be eligible to receive more federal grants as subsidies for their higher-education institutions, as long as they provide students and their families with more options for affordable education. Community colleges will most likely be completely free of tuition charge, as long as students will contribute the equivalent of a wage from a 10 hours per week job, and their families will also make the contribution calculated as appropriate for their income level. This is part of Hillary Clinton’s effort to make student loan debt a distant memory in the past, but experts have voiced some concerns that this focus on affordability may translate to a reduction in quality. Still, the next pillars of the new College Compact plan will actively fight for quality as well, and a balance between lower prices and high quality will be achieved.
2. Making loans more affordable
The plan is to refinance any outstanding debt easier, and to make the granting of new loans more affordable through reduced interest rates. This is meant to help both students and colleges avoid the spiraling debt which has plagued higher education in the past decades, and also lend a helping hand to those graduates who continue struggling with crippling amounts of student loan debt. Unfortunately, critics again say that the move isn’t that well devised and that it may end up providing benefits to those who don’t really need them instead of actually helping.
3. Simplifying income-based repayment
The income-based loan repayment system is this: after graduation, students repay their loans in a rhythm suitable to their current level of income. That means that even if in some cases the decision to attend college turns out to be a bad bet and doesn’t lead to a much bigger income in order to justify that huge debt, those students don’t have to remain overburdened by financial debt. Their payments will be scaled and adjusted to their income levels according to the new college tuition bill planned by Hillary Clinton.
4. More institutional accountability
If the College Compact plan will come to pass upon Ms. Clinton’s election, higher ed. institutions will have to be held accountable for the quality and efficiency of their activity in a greater degree. This means that colleges will be held responsible for how many of their graduates don’t land in a position which enables them to pay off their college debt.
This will be achieved through 2 means:
- There will be a revision of the current criteria which makes an institution eligible for the federal grant system (this proposal has already been formally made through a bipartisan act recently introduced by Sen. Orrin Hatch and Jeanne Shaheen);
- There will also be a possibility for institutions to cooperate for a joint risk-sharing program, protecting a single institution from a harsh financial downfall should the employ-ability of their graduates suddenly drop one year from the next.
This fourth pillar of the Hillary Clinton college plan is meant to offer higher education institutions a financial incentive to making sure their graduates are indeed prepared for the realities of the job market. In theory, this is a good idea, since it might reduce the risk of colleges becoming hollow ‘diploma factories’ that just produce graduates, without making sure that their field of specialization is indeed something useful in the current economy.
How well could this entire college tuition bill be implemented should Hillary Clinton get elected, it still remains to be seen. Some experts are mistrustful as to how feasible this plan will turn out. Others maintain a reticent stance of caution and reserved optimism. The only thing which is clear is that whatever form it may eventually take, the current state of the higher education system does need some sort of reform badly.
Get Your Degree!
Find schools and get information on the program that’s right for you.
Powered by Campus Explorer