Our next President adopted my idea of forcing colleges to reduce tuition costs or lose fed benefits
Donald Trump took on college affordability during a rally Thursday evening, saying his administration would encourage Congress to pressure colleges and universities into reducing tuition rates by withholding their tax breaks and funding.
“One of the biggest problems facing young people and families today is the cost of college education,” the Republican presidential nominee told a crowd gathered in Chester Township, Pa. “But what a lot of people don’t know is that universities get massive tax breaks for their massive endowments.”
“These huge multi-billion dollar endowments are tax-free, but too many of these universities don’t use the money to help with tuition and student debt,” Trump noted, claiming that much of the money is used to “put donors’ names on buildings” or increase staff salaries.
Trump has said relatively little throughout his campaign about the burgeoning student debt crisis and rising tuition costs. At a town hall last fall, he said the “only way” to make college more affordable for low-income students is “to start some governmental program.”
But earlier this month, the billionaire blasted government involvement in education, claiming “there is no failed policy more in need of change.” Trump expanded that message on Thursday as he vowed to “break the cycle” of colleges and universities receiving tax breaks for billion-dollar endowments that are not used to lower tuition costs.
“They should be using the money on the students — for tuition, for student life, and for student housing,” he said, claiming students are “choking” on their student loans.
“I’m going to work with Congress on reforms to make sure that if universities want access to all of these special federal tax breaks and tax dollars — paid for by you — that they are making a good faith effort to reduce the cost of college and student debt, and to spend their endowments on their own students,” Trump added.
Meanwhile, Trump’s Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton, has proposed a free-college tuition plan that would allow students to attend in-state universities at no cost if their families’ annual income is less than $85,000. The former secretary of state’s campaign has not specified how much the program would cost, though some have estimated a $500 billion increase in federal spending over 10 years.