Senator Bernie Sanders has introduced the College for All Act, a plan to make college accessible and affordable to all students. This will make undergraduate studies at public Colleges And Universities tuition free and will also include student loan reform.

Many people see a postsecondary degree or certificate as required to earn a middle-class living, but college tuition has increased in cost more than any other good or service since 1978. The cost has risen at two to three times the inflation rate every single year making a college degree unobtainable to many people.

The average cost of tuition in 1978 was $800. Today that cost is $9000. A report by NPR and his website provides a lot of the following information.

The details of the College for All Act

With the College for All Act, public colleges and universities would receive federal funds to help cover the cost of tuition, but it doesn’t come without restrictions. Federal funds cannot be used for administrator salaries, merit-based financial aid, or construction of non-academic buildings. Colleges are also required to reduce reliance on low paid adjunct faculty and maintain spending on Higher education systems, academic instruction, and need-based financial aid.

The College for All Act ensures public colleges and universities are tuition-free, however, it does not cover other costs such as room and board and living expenses.

Students may require some form of financial aid to cover these other expenses. Colleges will be required to meet 100 percent of the financial needs of low-income students. This can include a work-study program or need-based financial aid. The plan would triple the federal work-study programs, so students can gain valuable work experience while earning money to cover other costs associated with college.

Student loan reform

Today many graduates are bogged down with massive student loan debt preventing them from getting ahead in life. Many are unable to buy a house, start a family, or save for their future. The government profits off of student loans and many consider this morally wrong. According to Senator Sanders’ website, it is also bad economics.

Student loans have skyrocketed to $1.2 trillion, and over the next decade, the government will profit $110 billion.

The College for All Act would not only make higher education accessible and affordable for everyone, it would also lower interest rates for graduates currently struggling to make payments on their student loans. Student loan reform will slash current interest rates from 4.29 percent to 2.37 percent. Rates will be restored to the formula used prior to 2006. Past students will be able to refinance loans, and interest rates will never go above 8.25 percent.

How to pay for the College for All Act

Obviously, nothing is free, but Senator Sanders explains in detail how to pay for the College for All Act on his website.

Sanders proposes the “Robin Hood Tax,” imposing a fraction of a percent on Wall Street speculators. This includes a 0.5 percent tax on stock transactions, 0.1 percent on bonds, and 0.005 percent on derivative transactions. It is estimated that the College for All Act will cost $75 billion a year. Imposing a tax on Wall Street Speculators will bring in $300 billion in revenue.

According to Senator Sanders, we need the best-educated workforce in the world in this highly competitive global economy. This won’t happen if college isn’t accessible and if students are leaving school with massive amounts of Student Loan Debt.