geoffroy hall.jpg

The view of the Campanile from Geoffroy Hall. Geoffroy Hall is Iowa State's newest residence hall and is located on Lincoln Way. 

Walking down the sidewalks of Iowa State’s beautiful campus, you look around and see hundreds of students going about their day.

As college students, we face many shared challenges: homework, essays, presentations, tests, social life, tuition, etc. Generally, overcoming these obstacles can bring us closer together, but politics can still manage to polarize us.

The 2020 presidential election cycle has begun. Regardless of who you might eventually vote for, as a college student, you should take into consideration their plan for higher education. Candidates will be addressing how they plan to make the cost of continued education more affordable while maintaining the value of a degree.

A progressive plan to address the costs associated with college has become a necessity for Democratic primary challengers.

Sen. Bernie Sanders stands behind his 2016 campaign promise of making college free. His plan has morphed over the last three years to include making tuition free at public institutions for families earning less than $125,000 as well as using Pell grants to help low-income students pay for books and housing.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren has an even more progressive plan, which includes free tuition at public colleges as well as increasing the funding available for Pell grants. She goes a step further than Sanders with her plan to cancel $50,000 of student debt in households earning less than $100,000.

Warren, along with Sens. Cory Booker, Kamala Harris and Kirsten Gillibrand are co-sponsoring legislation in the Senate that would match federal dollars to state dollars in states that help students graduate debt free.

This is an especially interesting bill as it allows states to determine the best way to address financial need at their home institutions. Though certainly a progressive idea, this bill would be more cost effective as well as efficient than an overarching federal program.

However, some of the Democratic candidates don’t support free college. Sen. Amy Klobuchar has expressed that she doesn’t want to make all public institutions free out of concern for the national debt. She favors expanding financial aid to low-income students.

Mayor Pete Buttigieg has expressed concern about all of the currently proposed plans. He said he likes Warren’s idea, but wants to address a more progressive tax before helping people with what he calls too high of an income. He has also expressed concern over low-income households subsidizing the education of higher income households. Still, he favors increased financial aid as well expanded loan forgiveness.

All this being said, the 2020 election is still over a year away. Forget your bias, and do a little research to better understand what plans candidates have to address the problems you’ll be facing in the next couple of years.

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Letter to the Editor Submission Link

(2) comments

David Jackson

“Forget your bias and do a little research to better understand what plans candidates have to address the problems you’ll be facing in the next couple of years.” -ISD Editorial Board

Yeah, forget your bias and just read our articles about how the Democrats are so “Progressive” lol. They’re progressing higher education right into the ground while simultaneously making it more expensive.

How about you forget your bias and do a little research to better understand why the cost of tuition has risen above inflation over the last several decades? You just might find out that the explosion of administrative departments and pseudointellectual fields of study has gone hand in hand with rising tuition costs, and those rising tuition costs were made possible by government subsidizing higher education loans along with campaigns to tell everyone if they didn’t get a four year degree they’d end up flipping burgers for life.

Government loans mean universities get paid even if you don’t get a job that pays enough for you to both afford an improved standard of living over the income from an Associate’s Degree or HS diploma, while also paying off your student loan dept at the same time. You still have to pay back the loan but the school already has the money. Because they’re not limited to just offering degree programs that are in demand so graduates go out into a job market and make more money with lucrative careers to pay back loans, they take their guaranteed money they expand like a cancer, they invent admin positions which have nothing to do with teaching class, conducting research, or maintaining the facilitates for those two functions, as well as academic programs which aren’t even based on comprehensive research or the scientific method like gender studies, human sciences, and the increasingly politicized education colleges. People with worthless degrees also have bills to pay and need jobs, so ideologically likeminded people at Universities make positions for them. Thus the cost of your tuition vs what it used to cost to get a Bachelor’s Degree.

Want higher education to be affordable? Stop subsidizing it, people will stop majoring in fields of study with no constructive use in society, they'll focus on fields with jobs to justify then, and universities will be forced to stop expanding nonsense programs and the bureaucracy that invents them. When they’re limited by funding to academics and research in Ag, Business, STEMM, Economics, History….you know actual education, they’ll by necessity offer it in a cost effective manner.

Keith Navarro

As a citizen it is our duty that we relay our points to the higher authorities especially if it is about education. Many people at australian-writings have already emphasized upon its importance. With the elections around the corner we need to consider the policies that the candidates have regarding education. They should work on enhancing education standards while trying to reduce the cost.

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