2020 Policy Tracker: Opportunity

Access to High Quality Education


Joe Biden

Joe Biden addresses access to high quality education in “The Biden Plan for Education Beyond High School“. His plan will:

  • “Provide two years of community college or other high-quality training program without debt.”

  • “Target additional financial support to low-income and middle-class individuals by doubling the maximum value of Pell grants.”

  • “Give states financial incentives to foster collaboration between community colleges and community-based organizations to provide wraparound support services for students.”

  • Create a “Title I for postsecondary education” to help students at under-resourced four-year schools complete their degrees.

  • Invest over $70 billion in HBCU, TCUs, and MSIs to make them more affordable, better resourced and more competitive.

Additionally, in his “Build Back Better” plan, Biden will:

  • “Provide relief from student debt.” 

    • “Include in the COVID-19 response an immediate cancellation of a minimum of $10,000 of federal student loan debt.”

    • “Double the maximum value of Pell grants and significantly increase the number of middle-class Americans who can participate in the program.”

    • “More than halve payments on undergraduate federal student loans by simplifying and increasing the generosity of today’s income-based repayment program.”

    • “Fix the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program and forgiving $10,000 of undergraduate or graduate student debt for every year of national or community service, up to five years.”

    • “Crack down on private lenders profiteering off students.” 

    • “Forgive all undergraduate tuition-related federal student debt from two- and four-year public colleges and universities and private HBCUs and MSIs for debt-holders earning up to $125,000.” 

  • “Make public colleges and universities, as well as private HBCUs and MSIs, tuition-free for all families with incomes below $125,000.”

  • “Support colleges and universities that play unique and vital roles in their communities.” 

    • “Make HBCUs, TCUs, and MSIs more affordable for their students. Biden will provide tuition-free access to four-year public HBCUs and MSIs for students from families earning below $125,000.” 

    • “Invest in the diverse talent at HBCUs, TCUs and MSIs to solve the country’s most pressing problems.” 

    • “Build the high tech labs and facilities and digital infrastructure needed for learning, research, and innovation at HBCUs, TCUs, and MSIs.”  

    • “Provide support to continuously improve the value of HBCUs, TCUs, and MSIs by investing $10 billion in programs that increase enrollment, retention, completion, and employment rates.”  

    • “Expand career pathways for graduates of HBCUs, TCUs, and MSIs in areas that meet national priorities, including building a diverse pipeline of public school teachers.” 

    • “Triple and make permanent the capacity-building and student support for HBCUs, TCUs, and MSIs in Title III and Title V of the Higher Education 

    • Reduce disparities in funding for HBCUs, TCUs, and MSIs.” 

  • “Provide two years of community college or other high-quality training program without debt for any person looking to learn and improve their skills, especially to connect these individuals with the millions of job opportunities created by the historic investments in Biden’s Build Back Better Plan.” 

  • “Tackle the barriers that prevent students from completing their community college degree or training credential.” 

  • “Make a $50 billion investment in workforce training, including community-college business partnerships and apprenticeships.”

  • “Help develop pathways for diverse workers to access training and career opportunities.” 

  • “Require publicly traded companies to disclose data on the racial and gender composition of their corporate boards.”

  • “Ensure access to high-quality, affordable child care and offer universal preschool to three-and four-year olds through greater investment, expanded tax credits, and sliding-scale subsidies.”


Donald Trump

Donald Trump addresses access to education on his “Education“ issue page. It highlights:

  • His “proposed budgets have made school choice a priority.”

    • “The President’s FY2018 Budget Request included $1 billion in funding to Furthering Options of Children to Unlock Success Grants for public school choice and $250 million to promote private school choice through the Education Innovation and Research Program.”

    • “In his FY2019 budget President Trump proposed a $5 billion federal tax credit on donations that fund scholarships to private and vocational schools, apprenticeships programs and other educational opportunities.”

  • “The Trump Administration implemented the year-round distribution of Pell grants, instead of limiting these grants to the spring and fall semesters.”

  • “Low-income students will now have access to these funds over summer and winter breaks, so they can earn their degrees faster with fewer loans.”

  • “The Trump Administration has reformed The Free Application for Federal Student Aid to make the program more accessible to students.”