Sanders welcomes Clinton’s college affordability proposal

U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders on July 6 welcomed a proposal by Hillary Clinton that combines the best features of plans Clinton and Sanders brought forth to make college affordable for all and substantially reduce student debt.

The following is Sanders’ statement on Clinton’s announcement today:

As I’ve traveled throughout the country during this campaign, I have heard over and over again from young people and their parents what the high cost of college and student debt is doing to their lives. For some, it means not being able to go to college at all, and that’s the case for hundreds of thousands of high school graduates.

These are young people who will find it harder to make it into the middle class and fulfill their dreams. For others, it means graduating school deeply in debt, and being forced to pay off that debt year after year after year. And that may mean not being able to buy a home, get married or have kids.

I want to take this opportunity to applaud Secretary Clinton for the very bold initiative she has just brought forth today for the financing of higher education. This proposal combines some of the strongest ideas she fought for during the campaign with some of the principles that I fought for. The final product is a result of the work of both campaigns.

Let me be very clear. This proposal, when implemented, will revolutionize the funding of higher education in America, improve the economic future of our country and make life immediately better for tens of millions of people stuck with high levels of student debt.

This proposed legislation will provide free tuition at public colleges and universities for all families in America earning $125,000 a year or less – 83 percent of our families.

In other words, the dream of higher education in America will become a reality for all, regardless of the income of one’s family. This proposal will also provide very substantial relief for students and families carrying student debt.

In the year 2016, we should be encouraging our people to get the best education they can, not punishing them.

Our goal should be to have the best educated country in the world. In a highly-competitive global economy, it is insane that hundreds of thousands of bright young people are unable to afford the high cost of college and millions more leave school deeply in debt.

I thank Secretary Clinton for introducing this proposal which, in my view, will have a profound impact on the future of our country.