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Adding Fuel to the Fire

College affordability is increasingly on the minds of more and more Americans—particularly with students preparing to head off to college and a national election on the horizon. Unfortunately, as college costs continue to rise, one “solution” being discussed would only add fuel to the fire.

According to research from the American Action Forum, expansions in federal tuition subsidies have been the “driving force behind tuition increases.” Still, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is touting a plan that would expand college subsidies even more. What is it they call repeating the same thing and expecting different results?

Under Secretary Clinton’s proposal, taxpayers would foot the bill for a student to go to college if his or her family has an income of up to $125,000. Not surprisingly, the misguided plan is causing concern. As the New York Times reports:
 

Hillary Clinton’s plan to allow most Americans to attend public universities at no cost could have the perverse effect of driving tuition higher as the federal government chased a tuition target that universities would simply raise at taxpayers’ expense, some experts warn.

In recent decades, the federal government has significantly expanded tuition subsidies, only to watch the cost of college climb even faster. Some experts see evidence that colleges have responded to past increases in federal subsidies by raising prices.

 
But wait—it gets worse. In the long run, Secretary Clinton’s plan would end up hurting those she claims it will help. The Wall Street Journal explains:
 

The saddest part of this is that the millennial voters Mrs. Clinton is trying to bribe don’t seem to realize they’ll pay for free college for the rest of their lives … The politicians will have to raise taxes, and probably severely, on millennials as they reach their peak earning years. Mrs. Clinton’s proposal amounts to a giant national student loan to be repaid with future taxes.

 
Let’s review: Higher costs + higher taxes = less opportunity across the board. You don’t need a college degree to understand why Secretary Clinton’s plan just doesn’t make sense.

Here’s what does make sense: bipartisan solutions that will provide real help to students and families. In fact, the House recently passed a number of bills that will strengthen higher education by:
 

 
These and other reforms will make a real difference in the lives of students working to achieve the dream of a college degree—not more of the same flawed policies that will only fan the flames.

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