Where does Hillary Clinton stand on higher education?

Read the entire Hillary Clinton and Education series here. 

By Matthew Lynch

It’s no secret that the cost of going to college is rising. Pair the escalating price with the fact that more students than ever are graduating with degrees, and the cost of higher education in the U.S. is often questioned. Is it really worth it to go?

Of course the statistics tell us that college graduates in general do better financially over their lifetimes than high school graduates (who in turn, do better than high school dropouts). The amount of that difference in price more than makes up for whatever students pay off in student loan debt, making a college degree a smart financial move. Still. More affordable options for higher education are needed to provide equality in the workforce beyond.

The Obama Administration has moved forward several initiatives to

So will Hillary Clinton follow in the footsteps of her Democratic predecessor if elected to the role of Commander in Chief?

Early signs point to “yes” – and that she will do even  more to advance affordable access to higher education for all Americans.

Hillary Clinton wants more respect for technical training. Though a graduate of an Ivy League establishment herself, Clinton has spoken publicly about placing a higher value on non-degree earners who obtain an education for technical positions. Relevant training, not the degree listed on a diploma, should be what matters when hiring. Will this mean more federal funding toward community colleges and technical training programs? I’m going to say “yes” as Clinton seems determined to elevate access to training and degree programs for all Americans.

Hillary Clinton does not like online degree programs. Though she has a pretty strong digital team (remember: she announced her Presidential candidacy on social media), Clinton has mentioned before that she is not a big fan of online learning for college purposes. “Technology is a tool, not a teacher,” she was quoted as saying in 2014. Though I agree with her to an extent, I think that the higher education online degree train is already steaming down the track. Rather than discount its effectiveness, it may be more beneficial to develop accountability standards for these types of degree programs that ensures they are successful for their students, both academically and economically.

Hillary Clinton wants for-profit colleges to have higher accountability. In the first week of her official campaign, Clinton spoke about the “troubled” state of for-profit colleges in the U.S. and how they need more oversight. She mentioned the especially shady practice of taking at-risk student dollars and then not doing enough to ensure that these students graduate and find jobs. Critics were quick to point out that she and husband Bill Clinton have close ties with Laureate, the fourth-largest for-profit higher education establishment in the U.S., but I think that Clinton means what she says.  She isn’t calling for an end to for-profit colleges; she is calling for higher accountability and that’s something that can benefit students and administrations alike.

I’m interested to see what, if any, college loan initiatives she announces during her campaign, as this is the biggest determiner of affordability for most students.

What issues in higher education do you hope Hillary Clinton champions during her campaign?

Read more on Hillary Clinton and education:

What is Hillary Clinton’s stance on K-12 education?

What is Hillary Clinton’s stance on universal preschool?

Check out all of our posts on Hillary Clinton here.

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