New College Calculator: Under Clinton’s Plan, 122,000 North Carolina Students Would Pay No Tuition For A Four-Year College Degree

College used to be pretty affordable. For too many North Carolinians, that’s no longer the case.

North Carolinians’ outstanding federal student loan debt now exceeds $26 billion. Three in every five new North Carolina graduates of four-year colleges are in debt, carrying an average balance of over $25,200. Meanwhile, for families sending their kids to colleges and universities, tuition has escalated even at public colleges and universities. Tuition has risen by 42% — or by $2,051 — since 2008 at North Carolina’s four-year public colleges and universities after inflation — and family incomes have not kept pace. Meanwhile, per-student public funding for North Carolina’s public colleges and universities has fallen below 2008 levels by 20% after inflation. Simply put, this situation has careened out of control.

Hillary Clinton has a plan to help millions of Americans with their debt right now, and a plan to make college debt-free for future generations. Under Hillary’s plan, families with incomes up to $125,000 — more than 89% of North Carolina households — will pay no tuition at in-state public colleges and universities. And today, Hillary is releasing a new online calculator that will show how hundreds of thousands of North Carolinians, like Americans in states all across the country, will benefit from her New College Compact. This online calculator walks students, parents, and families through the details of her plan. In addition to core elements of the plan, the calculator includes key information for students who are parents, or veterans, or alumni of AmeriCorps, or budding entrepreneurs, or attending an HBCU or Minority-Serving Institution, or who are budding entrepreneurs. We believe that those who use it will see for themselves what a difference it will make if Hillary Clinton becomes president.

Debt-Free College for our Future Students

Hillary Clinton has pledged to achieve the goal of debt-free college for future graduates, so that cost is never a barrier for young people seeking to pursue their dreams of higher education. It’s a simple but bold idea: Every student should be able to graduate from a public college or university in their state without taking on any student debt. Hillary’s plan will:

  • Eliminate college tuition for working families. Under Hillary’s plan, families with incomes up to $125,000 — more than 89% of North Carolina households — will pay no tuition at in-state public colleges and universities. From the start, every student from a family making $85,000 a year or less will be able to go to a four-year public college or university tuition-free. By 2021, an estimate of about 122,000 North Carolina students with a family income of $125,000 or less will have the opportunity to pay no tuition. Hillary will also continue her commitment to ensure that North Carolina’s 147,000 community college students get their education tuition-free.
  • Help students deal with all of the costs of attending college. Hillary Clinton will protect Pell Grant funding that about 240,000 low- and middle-income North Carolina students receive so that students from working families who pay no tuition under her plan can also use their Pell Grants to cover non-tuition expenses. She will also restore year-round Pell Grant funding so that more students can take summer classes and complete college. She will make a major investment in North Carolina’s 11 HBCUs and Minority-Serving Institutions, as well as other lower-cost, modest-endowment private schools. And she’ll expand support for student-parents, including a fifteen-fold increase in federal funding for on-campus child care.

Provide Immediate Help to Graduates Who Need Relief from Crushing Debt

As President, Hillary will take immediate executive action to offer a three-month moratorium on student loan payments to all federal loan borrowers. During this time-out from paying student loans, every borrower will be given the resources and targeted help they need to save money on their loans.

Hillary has made clear she will also fight to ensure that all borrowers can:

  • Refinance their student loans at current rates, just as borrowers can refinance a car or home loan. Refinancing would help 678,000 North Carolina borrowers. Nationally, a typical participating borrower will save $2,000 over the life of his or her loan.
  • Enroll in income-based repayment. No one’s student loan bills should be more than 10% of monthly income, and college debt should be forgiven after 20 years — or after 10 years, for borrowers working in the public interest. Hillary will simplify, expand, and develop options for automatic enrollment in these programs in North Carolina.
  • Urge employers to do their part. Hillary will create a payroll deduction portal for employers and employees that will simplify the repayment process.
  • Get relief from debt for starting a business or social enterprise. Aspiring North Carolina entrepreneurs will be able to defer their federal loans with no payments or interest for up to three years so student debt and lack of family wealth are no longer barriers to innovation in our country. For social entrepreneurs and those starting new enterprises in distressed communities, Hillary will provide up to $17,500 in loan forgiveness.
  • Reward public service. Hillary will ensure that this year’s more than 1,400 North Carolina AmeriCorps members who complete two years of national service and a year of public service will be able to have their loans forgiven. And teachers in high-need districts or shortage subjects will get enhanced loan forgiveness.

The New College Compact

  • Hillary Clinton’s plan requires everyone to do their part. The federal government will make a major new investment to make this possible, but states will have to step up and meet their obligations as well — committing to a combination of reinvestment and reform.
  • North Carolina colleges and universities will be accountable for reining in costs to provide value to their students; improving completion rates and learning outcomes; and providing disadvantaged students the tools they need in order to get to and through college.
  • Students will be expected to work 10 hours a week to help defray the full cost of attendance. Clinton will push to expand work opportunities that build career skills and introduce students of all backgrounds to public service careers.
  • Hillary will encourage and reward North Carolina innovators who provide excellent higher education while driving down costs. And she’ll crack down on the abusive practices of for-profit colleges.