- Make two-year public college tuition-free for all and debt-free for the lowest-income students
- Make four-year college tuition-free and debt-free for the lowest-income students and make a four-year education highly affordable for middle-class families
- Reduce the cap on federal undergraduate student-loan payments – and make it possible for students to pay back just what they can afford
- Help two-thirds of Americans complete degrees or credentials to acquire the skills needed for good-paying jobs in the next decade
Ensure that no one is denied a chance to get ahead because of the cost of college
Mike believes that college should be available to all Americans, regardless of income. Mike’s plan will enact this idea by doubling the size of Pell grants and removing current barriers of access to Pell Grants for DREAMers and formerly incarcerated students. He’ll combat the crippling student debt crisis that has handicapped a generation, cutting the cap on student-loan payments by 50% and forgiving loans tax-free after 20 years. Mike will make public college debt-free for the lowest-income students by funding the cost of attendance including real costs of college beyond tuition — including expenses for books, meals, transportation, and child care that often present barriers to degree completion.
Level the playing field so every student can achieve a high-quality higher education
Mike will end admissions legacy preferences and strengthen fairness in the college-admissions process. He’ll increase college graduation rates for low- and middle-income students by making the real costs of college more affordable, investing in evidence-based strategies to improve completion and success rates, and help more students attend and graduate from selective colleges with high graduation rates. His plan also expands direct investments into Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUS) and institutions serving students from low-income backgrounds and underrepresented groups.
Help students complete degrees and equip them to succeed
Mike will ensure graduates are equipped with skills needed for good-paying jobs while closing gaps for low-income students and underrepresented minorities. At the same time, he’ll combat food insecurity on campuses by facilitating SNAP benefits and covering all meals for low-income students through expanded Pell grants and federal and state funding. He’ll also encourage programs to re-enroll and graduate adults who have some college but no degree, then help connect those students to good-paying job opportunities. Mike will build and strengthen career-training programs and facilities at community colleges working with employers. He will also help one million students annually enroll in work-based college degree programs where students participate in paid apprenticeships and internships along with relevant courses equipping students with the skills required for good-paying jobs.
Mike’s higher education plan is grounded in evidence about what works – as well as his success as both the Mayor of New York City, and a leading educational philanthropist.
As Mayor, Mike took over a failing and dysfunctional school system and turned it into a national model of reform, and backed the City University of New York’s pioneering CUNY ASAP program, which provides targeted advising and financial support to help students complete their degrees.
As philanthropist, Mike led national efforts to increase the number of lower-income students enrolled in top colleges. Mike also has invested more than any American in opening up post-secondary institutions to our students and helping them excel.