Joe Biden on Tuesday detailed a $750 billion plan for higher education that would make free community college a main goal, laying out a pathway for students to get ready for the workplace with a two-year degree or industry certification.
Biden in his bid for the 2020 nomination also endorses increasing Pell Grants, financial aid extended to needy undergraduate students. He would revamp troubled student loan forgiveness and repayment programs and boost funding for historically black colleges and other minority-serving institutions. The former vice president favors extending student financial aid to former prisoners and Dreamers, undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as minors.
What would the plan do?
The “Biden plan for education beyond high school” calls for tuition-free community college for up to two years, which the Biden campaign says would also halve student tuition costs for those pursuing a four-year degree.
Additionally, Biden’s plan calls for doubling the maximum value of Pell Grants, and automatically increasing the value based on inflation. He would allow Pell Grants for former prisoners, and ensure Dreamers are eligible for financial aid. Biden also introduced a new grant called a “Title I for postsecondary education,” which is intended to help four-year schools without a lot of money that serve large numbers of Pell-eligible students.
His plan also cracks down on for-profits and private loan lenders “profiteering off of students.” For example, Biden says he would push for Congress to pass a law permitting the discharge of private student loans in bankruptcy.
How much would it cost?
The plan would cost $750 billion, funded over 10 years.