Hillary Clinton to roll out $350 billion, 10-year college affordability plan

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Hillary Clinton will roll out her college affordability plan Monday, pledging to voters in New Hampshire that "costs won't be a barrier" to secondary education in a Clinton administration.

Clinton, who has been asked about college affordability throughout the first months of her campaign, will announce what her campaign is calling the "New College Compact," a pledge to tackle the cost of college, making low interest grants and loans more available and ensure the federal government "will never again profit off student loans for college students."

According to outlines of the plan previewed to CNN, the basis of Clinton's college promises include vowing that students will be able to attend in-state public colleges or universities "without ever having to take out a loan for tuition."

Clinton will do this, according to the campaign, by incentives to states that agree to provide "no-loan tuition at four-year public colleges and universities." States that agree, under the Clinton plan, will win grants from the federal government.

Clinton will also pledge to continue President Barack Obama's free tuition plan at community colleges, as well as ensuring that students will "never have to pay more than 10% of their income when repaying the loan."

"Everyone will be able to enroll in a simplified and streamlined income based repayment program so that borrowers never have to pay more than 10% of what they make," according to a white paper on Clinton's plan.

$350 billion over 10 years

According to the Clinton campaign, the plan will cost $350 billion over 10 years but will be "fully paid for by limiting certain tax expenditures for high-income taxpayers."

Clinton's campaign also released a video pegged to their college affordability plan. The video highlights a number of students have been saddled with up to $200,000 in student debt.

"Higher education should be a right, not a privilege for those who can afford it," the video argues.

Clinton will say Monday that the best way to combat lifting American incomes is by investing in education.

"College graduates earn $570,000 more on average in their careers than high school graduates," read a Clinton campaign fact sheet on the plan. "Graduates of community college, career training, certificate programs and coding boot camps also earn more."

Competing college plans

College affordability is a hot topic on the Democratic side of the 2016 presidential race.

Former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley unveiled a debt-free college plan in July, promising to lower tuition at state college and universities and tying loan repayment to income.

"Unless we act now, more and more students will not be able to afford higher education at all, putting the American Dream even further out of reach," the former governor said in a statement.

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders promised voters that he would make all four-year public college and universities tuition free.

"We have a crisis in higher education today," Sanders said earlier this year in announcing his plan. "Too many of our young people cannot afford a college education, and those who are leaving college are faced with crushing debt."

Sanders has pitched the plan as something other countries have done, including Germany, Denmark and Finland.

Clinton will roll out her plan during a two-day swing through New Hampshire. On Monday, she will headline a town hall in Exeter and a grassroots organizing party in Manchester. On Tuesday, she will headline another town hall in Claremont and a community forum on substance abuse in Keene.

Debt-free college has been a particularly important issue for the progressive base of the Democratic Party.

The Progressive Change Campaign Caucus has pushed hard for each 2016 Democrat to back a "debt-free college" plan and has pledged to hold there candidates to their plans.

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