Elizabeth Warren is getting nods of approval from both Democrats and Republicans following a speech last week at the American Federation of Teachers in Washington, where she laid out a plan to ease student debt and make college more affordable. TIME called Warren’s speech “potentially game-changing” because of the way she addressed the root of student debt, not just the repercussions of the problem. “Conservatives are right,” said the noted liberal, the “availability of guaranteed federal loan and grant dollars gives colleges the opportunity to raise tuition without facing any consequences when their students graduate with overwhelming debt.” Warren called for a system overhaul that would force universities to have “skin in the game” by implementing a cost for schools whose graduates default on loans, or by withholding federal aid from states that do not maintain a minimum level of investment in their own colleges. Warren did not mention the presidential campaign, in which access to college is becoming an increasingly important issue for both Democrats and Republicans, but she did remark on the fact that several conservative politicians and institutions have advocated for reforms similar to those she proposes.
Contributor: Celeste Montaño