Analysis: Considering presidential candidates from a college perspective


Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. (TNS)

By Shannon Allen

While there are many issues to consider when voting in the upcoming presidential election, higher education is at the top of the list for some college students.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump does not have an official higher education platform, according to the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators.

However, Sam Clovis, national co-chair and policy director for Trump’s campaign, has done most of the talking on Trump’s stance on the matter. Trump will fight proposals for debt-free public higher education and tuition-free public higher education, Clovis said.


He said Trump expects colleges to have “skin in the game” and be partially accountable for how much money is loaned to each student, adding that colleges should be mindful of who they give loans to because some majors, namingly liberal arts, do not have job security post college.

“If you are going to study 16th-century French art, more power to you,” Clovis said, according to a report by “I support the arts, but you are not going to get a job.”

Caricature of presidential candidates Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump. (Sloan Marion |
Caricature of presidential candidates Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump. (Sloan Marion |

Furthermore, he said colleges should have a stricter regimen on who they admit, only accepting students they feel can graduate on time and quickly find a job.

On the issue of loans, Trump believes private banks should lend money to students instead of the government and the government should not profit from these loans, according to the aid administrators organization.

“That’s probably one of the only things the government shouldn’t make money off of,” Trump said in an article from The Hill newspaper. “I think it’s terrible that one of the only profit centers we have is student loans.”

However, Hillary Clinton, the Democratic presidential candidate, takes a contrary view. She is arguing for debt-free college with what she calls a “New College Compact,” a plan that makes it possible for students to attend a four-year public college without taking loans for tuition and attend tuition-free community college.

The plan is designed to cut interest rates on loans, aid debt-ridden students in refinancing their loans at low interest rates and enable students to pay no more than 10 percent of their income.


“It is outrageous that young people are being asked to pay interest rates that are so much higher than interest rates to buy a house or a car …,” Clinton said on her campaign site. “Your education is an investment.”

Clinton plans to expand childcare on college campuses by increasing funding for the Child Care Access Program Means Parents in School, a program that gives grants for campus-based child care centers that serve low-income student-parents, from $15 million to $250 million per year.

Another goal to help student-parents is awarding them with scholarships of up to $1,500 per year for “transportation, emergency financial aid and child care costs” through The Student Parents in America Raising Kids program, according to Clinton’s campaign site.

“I don’t think, in America, anyone should have to choose between being a good student and being a good parent,” Clinton said during a speech in Iowa. “We are better when we take care of each other … and make investments in the next generation.”

Staff writer Shannon Allen can be reached at 618-536-3326, [email protected] or on Twitter @ShannonAllen_DE.

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