Hillary Clinton Unveils Her Plan for Higher Education: Substantial Meat for the Middle Class and a Few Bones for Poor Blacks

Hillary Clinton has geared her entire presidential campaign to attracting voters from the middle class. Even her campaign tour bus is called “The Middle Class Express.”

In unveiling her new program for higher education, Senator Clinton offers a wide variety of initiatives to make college more affordable for middle-class students including a $3,500 tuition tax credit.

But the Clinton program also offers some proposals of particular interest to African Americans: The Clinton plan calls for:

• Pell Grant awards to be indexed to the rising cost of a college education.
• A $250 million “Graduation Fund” which will be used to launch performance-based efforts to improve graduation rates, especially among low-income and minority students.
• A program aimed at nontraditional college students such as older Americans and working mothers to allow them to attend college less than half-time and still receive federal student aid.
•  The most selective schools expanding access for low-income and minority students by spending a greater percentage of their endowment annually on recruiting more low-income students and students of color. Clinton does not offer specifics on what steps she would take to compel colleges and universities to spend more of their endowment income on recruiting minority students.