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What the Election Will Mean for Higher Education

What the Election Will Mean for Higher Education

The James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal

Anthony Hennen
October 23, 2020
Though the 2020 election has focused on COVID-19 and the economy, higher ed has still gotten some attention. But only one party has a plan to transform college in their image. The Democrats have promised more money, more student debt forgiveness, and more initiatives to push young people through the college system in some way, shape, or form.
The Trump campaign, however, has been almost silent on higher ed. It did not release a platform for the next four years. College has remained a minor issue for Trump. Though few voters will go to the polls thinking about higher ed, the next election could determine what it looks like.
Democrats have treated higher ed as a major issue, especially one to motivate young voters. The Republicans have treated it as an afterthought. The Biden campaign’s plan is wordy and in-depth, whereas the Trump campaign’s plan—a bullet list of self-proclaimed accomplishments—offers little detail. If Trump wins, higher ed policy won’t change much.
What Biden offers voters is a dramatic boost in federal spending and more interference in higher education. The “college for all” agenda will return with force.


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