Elizabeth Warren unveils $640 billion college debt forgiveness plan

Daniel Fowler
April 22, 2019

The canceled debt would not be taxed as income, Warren said. It has been named as a contributor to declining home ownership rates among young adults.

"The time for half measures is over", said Warren in a post on Medium describing her proposals. Step two: Getting rid of the cost of public college tuition and fees altogether.

Debt-relief for lower-income Americans would be prioritized under the plan: Every person with a house-hold income of under $100,000 would be eligible for $50,000 in debt forgiveness, regardless of whether their loans were held in the private or public sector. Those making between $100,000 and $250,000 would see that $50,000 cancellation figure decrease by $1 for every $3 the person makes above $100,000.

Wiping out student debt would be "step one".

Warren's plan would also create a fund with a "minimum of $50 billion" meant to keep per-student spending at historically black colleges and universities and minority-serving institutions comparable to other area colleges. Her proposal would invest an additional $100 billion over the next decade in Pell Grants, too.

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"Research shows that more funding for non-tuition costs helps improve graduation rates, which must be our goal", Warren wrote.

Education has been a topic on the campaign trail for some of Warren's rivals as well. Kirsten Gillibrand of NY signed onto a bill called the "Debt-Free College Act".

The plan will do this in a number of ways including creating a $50 billion fund for Historically Black Colleges and Universities and minority-serving institutions to make sure the spending per student is on par with colleges in the area; making more funding available for states that show improvement in enrollment and graduation for low-income students and students of color; banning for-profit colleges from receiving federal funding and prohibit colleges from considering citizenship status or criminal history in admissions decisions.

Warren, who is now tied for fifth place among Democratic primary candidates according to the RealClearPolitics polling average, was also the first Democratic presidential hopeful to call on the House of Representatives to initiate impeachment proceedings against President Donald J. Trump following the release of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report on Russian meddling in the 2016 election. Warren also lags behind Democrat front-runners former Vice President Joe Biden and Sanders in the polls as well.

More than 44 million Americans have student loans, which add up to $1.5 trillion in total.

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