Presidential Hopeful Klobuchar Wants Community College to Be Free but Not Four-Year College

Steve Marcus/File Photo/Reuters

U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar wants to make community college and programs designed to teach technical trades free, but stopped short of joining fellow Democratic hopefuls in backing proposals that would make a four-year college degree free.

Klobuchar, who has tried to embrace a moderate lane in the crowded Democratic presidential primary, has criticized some of her opponents, including Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, for pledging to make four-year college degrees free and erasing student debt.

The Minnesota senator saw her campaign get a small bump in October after a well-praised debate performance. She is competing in a field of 18 that has largely been divided between those who have embraced more centrist views, including Klobuchar, and a faction that is trumpeting sweeping liberal policy positions, like universal healthcare.

“We have to make college more affordable — but I don’t think that rich kids should get a free four-year degree funded by the taxpayers,” Klobuchar said on Twitter in June after being asked in the first Democratic debate about her opposition to free college.

Instead, in a plan that Klobuchar released on Friday, she called for making it easier for students to receive technical degrees in programs to train professions like plumbers and electricians.

She also called for expanding Pell Grants, the federal aid to low-income students, to allow those whose parents make up to $100,000 to qualify.

Many of Klobuchar’s proposals would require legislative changes, which could prove difficult even if some of them remain popular on both sides of the aisle.

To pay for her proposals, Klobuchar said she would raise capital gains and dividend rates for taxpayers in the top two income brackets. She said she would also limit the amount of capital gains that could be deferred through like-kind exchanges and would impose the so-called “Buffett Rule,” which would impose a minimum 30% tax on people with incomes over $1 million.

Republicans in Congress, including in the Senate which would likely have some influence even if Democrats were to take control, would likely strongly oppose raising taxes.

(Reporting by Ginger Gibson in Washington; Editing by Matthew Lewis)

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Sen. Klobuchar is right in promoting community colleges AND vocational training.

I completely disagree on the “free” part. A strong part of adulthood is making and honoring commitments, not having things handed to you. If one cannot afford school, then maybe having a contract with small businesses (in the case of vocational courses) OR committing to a PAID internship would be the best choices. It would be an invaluable lesson not only in life, but in terms of education.

Apprenticeships were and should be a greater part of education.


(long) full disclosure: community colleges are a vastly under-rated and under-sold resource.
I and my children saved tens of thousands by eliminating unnecessary “core” work via AP and community colleges. High schools, community colleges, and state schools are already paid for by our taxes, unlike private colleges.


It’s a strange dichotomy. Those who want productive, happy citizens keep pushing 4-year degrees and the accompanying debt which will do neither. The educational-industrial-collegial complex should be better handled.

General Confusion

““We have to make college more affordable — but I don’t think that rich kids should get a free four-year degree funded by the taxpayers,” Klobuchar said on Twitter in June” Article

Then DEAL with it! God damn it, it isn’t THAT hard.

General Confusion

I am confused.

Where is the “Republican” plan to educate more people and make the costs more reasonable?

General Confusion

“James, you will pay the same rate as I do on your first million–the rate is higher for the money you make BEYOND that first million.” Phyllis

Shhhh! You will just confuse him.

“Social security and Medicare are considered socialist programs. Are you ready to give those up to be true to your concerns?” Phyllis

My bet is that he will try to ignore your question because it doesn’t fit his confused “socialist” narrative.


Klobuchar’s plan makes more sense than Sander’s and Warren ‘s braying of “free college”. The trades are important and we need to train and educate those who wish to pursue them. I recall receiving the very practical advice from my HS guidance counselor of: don’t waste your parents’ money on a four year degree when the trade you want to learn can be done with an Associates or a certificate from a trade school. I also remember friends whose parents (rightly) refused to pay for remedial courses their child should have mastered well enough in HS but cost $300/credit at… Read more »


There it is: RAISE taxes; but only on those making $1 million or more? Don’t believe that for a nanosecond! None of these 2020 clowns have revealed their TRUE agenda of turning the US into a Socialist, Venezuelan outpost.





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