Hannah Pederson, Reporter
Nov. 8 seems months away, but as with any presidential race, the neverending coverage on multiple media platforms can make Election Day seem like The Incredibles sequel; people have been waiting and waiting and all of a sudden it’s here.
Candidates are locking down constituents in their respective party’s primaries, making all kinds of statements on their positions. A popular topic in this election seems to be revolving around college students, but some people question if the promises from candidates will be effective and whether they’ll follow through.
The number of frontrunning candidates has been dwindling fast, leaving Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton competing for the Democratic vote, and Donald Trump, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz and John Kasich all vying for the endorsement of the Republican Party.
The policy that seems to have garnered the most controversy is Sander’s plan.
“As president, I will: make tuition free at public colleges and universities, lower student loan interest rates for current and future borrowers, ensure all children have access to a quality education by fighting to ensure equal access to educational resources,” Sanders said Dec. 30, 2015, in a statement he made on his Google+ page.
Pierce College Puyallup Business and Social Science Instructor John Lucas had some qualms regarding how Sanders will be able to follow through.
“I like the idea, but it’s like investing in anything,” Lucas said. “Spend money now to make money later, and that’s not appealing in a presidential campaign. Bernie Sanders plan is so big that it’s really hard for me to see a situation in the near future where he’d be able to get it through Congress.”
Clinton delivered a somewhat less radical plan that focuses on lowering interest rates when it comes to student loans, to around 2 percent. She’s also made statements regarding community college tuition, stating in April 2015 that it should be free for everyone, later to say it should only be free for “those who truly need it” in January 2016.
Both Democratic candidates have released in-depth financial plans that cover the cost of their goals regarding higher education and more, but both have been scrutinized for their viability.
On the other side of the spectrum, Trump has forced America to take him seriously. His stances on all relevant policies vary from day to day, looking at Trump’s official Twitter account.
Looking specifically at his beliefs in regards to higher education, Trump’s made several statements about student loans.
“I’m going to look into colleges…we’re going to do something with regard to really smart financing,” Trump said in February 2016 at a rally in Salem, N.H.
Trump has yet to provide a financial plan to back up his statements.
Rubio came out with an unusual plan for refinancing higher education, when compared to his peers. Rubio’s backing a bill with Representative Tom Petri of Wisconsin in which private investors would pay for all, or portions, of a student’s tuition, and later on they’d collect a portion of that student’s earnings for the amount of time that was agreed upon. This policy, which some might compare to the indentured servitude in the days of yore, could be considered viable.
“For Marco Rubio, I think he wants to be the kind of Republican where he can address the issues of the middle class, but through the private sector,” Lucas said.
Kasich has been scrutinizing the payrolls of college administrators, saying that he’s “concerned about the cost of higher education.”
Cruz has been putting his focus on K-12 education, ignoring higher education.
“If you don’t have a plan to help pay for (higher) education, it means students will have to come up with those resources themselves,” Lucas said.
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