Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Chris Dodd: 'Community college for all'

No American should be denied a college education because of cost. So says Sen. Chris Dodd, the Connecticut Democrat who remains at the fringes of the Dem field.

Dodd released his higher education platform today (view his comments here) at the New Hampshire Community-Technical College in Manchester, NH. Here's what he wants to do (in the word of his press release):
  • Ending Corporate Welfare on Student Loans: The Dodd Plan will end the outdated corporate subsidies for banks and increase competition for lower interest rates on student loans by requiring banks to compete in a federally run auction to offer federal student loans. Excessive profits at the expense of the taxpayer will be eliminated and redirected to student aid so that college is more affordable for young Americans and their families.
  • Community College for All: The Dodd plan will partner with states to subsidize in-state tuition at public community colleges for students earning credit towards an associate’s degree. The Dodd plan will match dollar for dollar any tuition reduction offered by the state. Under this plan community college can be free for every American.
  • Raising the Pell Grant: The Dodd plan will increase the Pell Grant by $100 each year to ensure that qualified, hard working low- and moderate-income students can afford college without taking out an exorbitant amount of student loans. In a Dodd Administration, students will not be shut out of college because of cost.
  • Putting a Spotlight on the Skyrocketing Cost of Tuition: A Dodd Administration will use the power of the Presidency to bring to light schools whose tuition unreasonably outpaces inflation. By annually publishing a tuition inflation index and a list of colleges and universities whose tuition exceeds it, Chris Dodd believes we can provide students and families with a better idea of how much they can expect to pay for higher education while encouraging schools to act responsibly.
  • Protecting Students from Unscrupulous Lenders: President Dodd will continue his leadership on this issue by extending new protections to private student loans in order to improve transparency, prevent unfair and deceptive private lending practices and eliminate conflicts of interest.
Dodd plans to release his K-12 platform tomorrow at the New Hampshire NEA meeting.

Photo credit: Stamford, Conn., Democrats

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