By Rep. Mandela Barnes
Every one of us should have the opportunity to live up to our potential. While college isn’t in everyone’s plan, it should be within everyone’s reach should they dream to go.
Unfortunately, for too many Wisconsinites, the cost of college puts those dreams out of reach.
Here in Milwaukee, student debt and college affordability are at the forefront of nearly every student’s mind. And that is because the burdens students face can not only affect their experience in college, but also hinder their life as a graduate.
Within the last ten years, total student debt in our economy has more than doubled and now exceeds $1.2 trillion.
In Wisconsin alone, outstanding federal student loan debt now exceeds $18 billion.
I have seen the negative effects of student debt first hand. That’s why I have fought for students and young adults like myself on the floor of the State Assembly.
And let me tell you, Hillary Clinton has been fighting just as hard.
In response to the needs of students and young adults, Hillary Clinton has recently announced a plan, the New College Compact, to help millions of Americans with their debt.
She also has proposed a plan to make college debtfree for future generations. Under Hillary’s proposal, families with incomes up to $125,000, more than 89% of Wisconsin households, will pay no tuition at instate public colleges and universities.
And just in the past week, Hillary released a new online calculator that will show how hundreds of thousands of Wisconsinites will benefit from her New College Compact.
This online calculator shows students, parents, and families through the details of her plan and its impact on them personally. Hillary’s college affordability plans will directly affect the students.
For example, Hillary has committed to helping students deal with all of the costs of attending college. As part of this plan, Hillary will protect Pell Grants so that the 116,000 Wisconsinites can also use these grants to cover non-tuition expenses.
Hillary has also proposed a plan to help young adults with student debt get back on their feet.
She has promised a three-month break on student loan payments to all students with federal loans.
During this time period, every borrower will be given the resources they need to save money on their loans. And Hillary didn’t stop there.
She heard from students and young adults around the country about their problems, and then went back to the drawing board and worked out thoughtful solutions.
Her College Compact and college affordability plans directly address nearly every crucial economic issue college students and young adults face.
This is the kind of leadership we need in the White House.
While Trump has merely offered aimless bluster which does not address the real issues facing Wisconsinites, Hillary has offered clear, logical solutions aimed at making sure Wisconsin’s economy works for everyone, including students and young adults.
And that is why Hillary Clinton is the clear choice for President for adults young and old alike, adults like myself who dream of better opportunity.