U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont on May 19 will introduce legislation to provide tuition-free higher education for students at four-year colleges and universities.
Sanders, who is an independent but is running for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016, said in a news release, “We live in a highly competitive global economy and, if our economy is to be strong, we need the best-educated work force in the world. That will not happen if, every year, hundreds of thousands of bright young people cannot afford to go to college, and if millions more leave school deeply in debt.”
Sanders’ legislation would eliminate undergraduate tuition at public colleges and universities and would expand work-study programs.
The bill also would lower student debt and bring down interest rates on college loans.
The senator and 2016 presidential candidate planned to hold a news conference at the U.S. Capitol in the “Senate Swamp” at about 11:30 a.m. EST.
Sanders said, “Countries like Germany, Denmark, Sweden and many more are providing free or inexpensive higher education for their young people. They understand how important it is to be investing in their youth. We should be doing the same.”
He continued, “We used to lead the world in the percentage of our people who graduated college. Today we are in 12th place. We used to have great universities tuition free. Today they are unaffordable. I want a more educated work force. I want everybody to be able to get a higher education regardless of their income.”