BURLINGTON, Vt. -
Sen. Bernie Sanders wants to pump federal dollars into making college more affordable.
Flanked by college students and grads carrying their debt burdens around their necks, Sanders Monday called for aid in the form of a grant program. He proposes spending $150-million to pay for tuition, books, and other course to help high school students from moderate and low-income families take college courses before enrolling.
"We want to encourage that effort for a variety of reasons, but one of the immediate impacts would be that students would get college credits without having their families being forced to pay for them, so that would have a significant impact on college debt," Sanders said.
"I would like to thank Sen. Sanders for taking this issue on. College debt will be a defining issue for my generation, and many of us graduate with the fear of defaulting on loans or having to choose between taking care of our basic needs and paying our monthly student debt," said Liz Beatty-Owens, a Johnson State College student.
Studies of state support for higher education place Vermont near the bottom of the rankings in the United States.