Massachusetts Senator and presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren announced today her plans for higher education should she take office in 2020.

In addition to making public two and four-year education free, the plan would also eliminate $50,000 worth of student loans from households making less than $100,000 a year.

Warren outlined the plan in a Medium post and estimated the cost would be around $1.25 trillion. She said in the post the entire thing could be paid for through wealth taxes on households with fortunes of $50 million or more.

It's well documented that the burden of student loan debt has driven down people's ability to buy houses and cost is the most cited reason for dropping out of college and Warren argues her plan could cut into both these problems as well as act as a stimulus to the rest of the economy.

People saddled with debt would suddenly find themselves given newfound spending power since a significant portion of their income would no longer be tied up in paying loans back.

Regardless of whether you agree with the plan, there's no debating it's revolutionary. It would radically change the way college functions in the U.S. and resemble many European systems.

Although she did outline how she would pay for the plan, it does not include anything about other systemic changes that may come with a plan like this.

Many of the European systems this seems to imitate have caps put in place that limit the number of students they accept into public colleges each year. This is to keep costs down but also serve as a way to prevent a large surplus of graduates in a field.

The cap is often based on estimates of how many people in a profession are projected to leave that year. This way there are not an extreme amount of excess graduates in a field struggling to find employment.

I will be interested to see if a cap system will come with this later and also how many other candidates jump on board with a similar plan like after Medicare-For-All became a popular idea.

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Samuel Northrop is the education reporter for The Post-Star. He can be reached at snorthrop@poststar.com.


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