Marco Rubio, a GOP hopeful for the 2016 election, is now targeting something that many young voters feel very passionately about-higher education.
Rubio addressed his policy-reform in Chicago yesterday, focusing primarily on economic issues. The initiative that Rubio is working on of education reform shouldn't come as a surprise as he casts himself as "a new president for a new age." He outlined an economic plan that examines higher education, ultimately changing the way colleges are accredited and the way in which student loans are repaid.
Mr. Rubio certainly dreams big when it comes to his reforms, and has already mapped out initiatives addressing degree access and student loans, stating, "we need to change how we provide degrees, how those degrees are acessed, how much that access costs, how those costs are paid and even how those payments are determined."
As part of his higher education plan, Mr. Rubio has proposed two innovations that are aimed at making student loans more affordable. First, he said, he would put into effect an income-based payment system to allow graduates earning lower salaries to repay creditors on a timetable that he said would cause "less strain." Those who earned more would have to repay their loans at a faster rate. Mr. Rubio would also allow students to team with investors who would cover the students' tuition in exchange for a percentage of their earnings for a few years after graduation.
In a Harvard University study, it was shown that 58 percent of college graduates reported having student debt.
Based on Rubio's proposals, this number could potentially decrease, especially with his proposal that allows students to team with investors who would cover the students' tuition in exchange for a percentage of their earnings for a period after graduation.
Touching on degree accessibility, in his recent speech, Rubio supported the "Student Right to Know Before You Go Act," which meshes with his plan that requires institutions to tell students how much they can expect to earn with a given degree before they take out the loans to pay for it.
His plans differ from Hillary Clinton and other politicians who he feels are "narrow and short minded," stating, "“We need a holistic overhaul—we need to change how we provide degrees, how those degrees are accessed, how much the access costs, how those costs are paid, and even how those payments are determined.”
With debt and loans being ever prominent for not only students but their families as well, Rubio is now offering something that could bear him a lot of popularity. If followed through, this reform could change the lives of many young individuals. After all, in the words of John Mayer, "one day our generation is gonna rule the population." If our young generation can access higher education in a far more feasible manner then our future is in good hands with this "new president for a new age."