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Klobuchar Comes Out Against Free College

February 20, 2019

At a CNN town hall event this week, Senator Amy Klobuchar, a Minnesota Democrat running for her party’s presidential nomination, said she does not support proposals to make college tuition-free.

“No, I am not for four-year college for all,” she said in response to an audience member’s question.

Klobuchar instead said she supports free community college, expanded Pell Grants and refinancing of student loan interest rates. She also said she wants to help more students get certificates or two-year degrees to enter trades -- “everything from welding to technology to robotics” -- where a bachelor’s degree isn’t necessary.

Rejecting calls for free college puts Klobuchar at odds with most contenders for the Democratic nomination. The other Senate Democrats to declare campaigns for the nomination have either introduced or supported legislation that would provide free or debt-free public college. Julian Castro, the former mayor of San Antonio, has also argued for making community college -- but not four-year college -- free as part of a higher education platform.

Pete Buttigieg Mayor of South Bend, Ind. • Democrat

Amy Klobuchar U.S. Senator, Minn. • Democrat

Michael Bloomberg Former mayor of New York City • Democrat

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Andrew Kreighbaum

Andrew Kreighbaum joins Inside Higher Ed as our federal policy reporter. Andrew comes to us from The Investigative Reporting Workshop. He received his master's in data journalism at the University of Missouri, and has interned at USA Today and a national journalism institute in Columbia, MO. Before getting his master's, Andrew spent three years covering government and education at local papers in El Paso, McAllen and Laredo, Texas. He graduated in 2010 from the University of Texas at Austin, where he majored in history and was news editor at The Daily Texan.

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