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Senator Sanders Unveils Debt-Free-College Bill

May 20, 2015

Senator Bernie Sanders, the Vermont Independent who is running for president, on Tuesday unveiled more details about his plan to make public higher education debt-free for students.

Sanders introduced legislation that calls for the federal government to dole out $47 billion per year to states that agree to eliminate undergraduate tuition and fees at their public colleges and universities.

The federal government, according to his office, would pick up the tab nationwide for about two-thirds of the cost of eliminating tuition, and states would have to chip in the remaining third.

Sanders proposes to pay for the debt-free college program by raising taxes on the financial transactions of large investment firms.

The debt-free-college proposal, which goes beyond the Obama administration’s free community college plan announced earlier this year, has increasingly caught on among liberal lawmakers and progressive groups. Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager gave a nod to the idea earlier this month.

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Michael Stratford

Michael Stratford, Reporter, covers federal policy for Inside Higher Ed. He joined the publication in August 2013 after a stint covering the Arkansas state legislature for The Associated Press. He previously worked and interned at Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine and The Chronicle of Higher Education. At The Chronicle, he wrote about federal policy and covered higher education issues in the 2012 elections. Michael grew up in Belmont, Mass. and graduated from Cornell University, where he was managing editor of The Cornell Daily Sun.

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