Sen. Bernard Sanders said he’s not going to give up on trying to get rid of tuition at all four-year public colleges.
President Biden, who promised during the campaign to make four-year public colleges free, will stop short of that goal in the $1.8 trillion “American Families Plan” that he will unveil Wednesday to a joint session of Congress. Mr. Biden will propose spending $109 billion over the next decade to eliminate tuition only at two-year colleges.
“I think we should extend it to four years,” Mr. Sanders, an avowed socialist from Vermont, told The Washington Times.
Mr. Sanders, who is the chairman of the Finance Committee, said that he plans to add more free college into Mr. Biden’s infrastructure package.
The issue is an important one for Mr. Sanders. In addition to allowing more low-income people to attend college, rising tuition has contributed to the $1.5 trillion in student debt in the nation.
“Higher education in America should be a right for all, not a privilege for the few,” Mr. Sanders said earlier this month when reintroducing his College For All Act, which would eliminate tuition at two- and four-year colleges. “If we are to succeed in a highly competitive global economy and have the best-educated workforce in the world, public colleges and universities must become tuition-free for working families and we must substantially reduce student debt,” he said at the time.
Eliminating tuition at four-year colleges would be far more expensive than only for community colleges. The Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce estimated it would cost $799.7 billion over the next decade.
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