Today, as a result of rapidly rising college costs, stagnant or declining income for the middle class and major cutbacks in state and federal aid for higher education, hundreds of thousands of bright young Americans are unable to afford to go to college. These young people have the ability, they have the desire, but their families lack the money for a higher education. How tragic is that? Not only will these young people not be able to fulfill their personal dreams, but the overall economy suffers as well. How many great scientists, doctors, educators, businesspeople are not being created because these young people do not receive the education they want and need?
In the richest country in the history of the world, everyone who has the desire and the ability should be able to get a college education regardless of their background and ability to pay. That’s why I introduced the College for All Act that would make public colleges and universities in America tuition free for families earning $125,000 per year or less—86 percent of our population.
The devastating burden of high student debt not only causes enormous financial problems for individuals and families, it also destroys dreams. It often drives people into jobs they would prefer not to be doing— but that they are forced to do in order to earn the higher salaries they need to pay off their debts.
Each and every American must be able to get the education they need to match their skills and fulfill their dreams.