Weekly Journal. Week 8

This week I finish my discusion about the key education policy points of the Republican candidate President Donald Trump and the Democratic nominee former Vice President Joe Biden.

Student Debt

Donald Trump plans to streamline the student-loan system into one income-driven repayment program, to cap loan payments at 12.5% of a borrower’s discretionary income, and to forgive federal student loans after 15 years of consistent payments.

Joe Biden proposes to eliminate payments or interest for borrowers making $25,000 or less per year, to set loan payments at 5% of a borrower’s discretionary income, and to forgive 100% of debt after 20 years of on-time payments.

My opinion. Sinse both candidates offer similar debt forgiveness plans and both of them would cap the amount students can borrow and have colleges share the risk of students defaulting on their loans, there is no big difference between two plans. Therefore I am neutral between candidates here.

College Affordability

Donald Trump plans reducing the federal role in education by spending less on financial aid programs, creating short-term postsecondary programs that lead to licenses, certifications, or other credentials in high-demand occupations, and reorganize the Office of Federal Student Aid (FSA), which distributes federal loans..

As president, Joe Biden would offer a free-college plan for families earning less than $125,000, provide two years of free community college or high-quality training programs, and create a grant program that boosts student success at community colleges..

My opinion. Whereas President Trump tries to cut federal student financial support, Joe Biden wants to make sure all students who are interested in a post-secondary education can afford it.  I also see higher education as a public good, the good that is made available to all members of a society. Therefore, my opinion is closer to Joe Biden’s point of view about college affordability.

Financial Aid

Donald Trump’s budget plan includes freezing the maximum Pell grant for the next decade, cutting $630 million from the federal work-study program, and eliminating programs like subsidized Stafford Loans, the Public Service Loan Forgiveness and Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant programs. He also supports consolidating GEAR UP and TRIO grant programs that benefit students from under resourced communities.

As president, Joe Biden would double the maximum value of Pell grants and increase access to the program. Additionally, he will help students pay for costs other than tuition at four-year institutions and pioritize the use of Federal Work-Study funds for job-related and public service roles.

In my opinion, the cuts that were proposed by the Trump administration to the student aid programs would disproportionately impact low-income students, while Biden’s education policy directly includes a plan to make higher education more affordable by increasing need-based financial aid. Thus, Joe Biden.

International Students

Donald Trump plans to block or dismantle the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, to discourage international students from countries with travel bans from attending U.S. universities, and to place temporary restrictions on foreign student work programs to help Americans land jobs during an economic recession.

Oppositely, Joe Biden proposes welcoming international students to help grow the economy and create jobs, enacting DACA as a permanent program, and rescinding Trump’s country-specific travel bans.

My opinion. I believe that international students have a positive effect on higher education. For this reason, I can conclude that my opinion is much closer to Joe Biden’s.


I explored 12 key education policy points of Donald Trump and Joe Biden by matching their plans and proposals with my personal opinion on these issues. The overall results are following:

In seven educational issues my opinion is closer to Joe Biden’s opinion and in five cases I am indifferent (neutral) between two candidates.

Very soon, November 3rd we will know the outcome of the presidential election and what is the vector of  development of higher education for the next years. For now, I would like to remind you the results of previous presidential elections in the USA (Soundtrack: the U.S. national anthem by the U.S. Navy Band):




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