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The most specific plan for debt-free college so far comes from Demos, a progressive think tank. It defines a "debt-free" degree as a degree students could pay for by working 10 hours per week at minimum wage while enrolled in college. That means students' cost of attendance not covered by grants and scholarships, including books, tuition, and living expenses, couldn't exceed about $2,500 per year.
 
Demos calls for the federal government to help states shoulder the cost of higher education.
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The progressive think tank Demos, which has been a leading voice in the progressive policy conversation and, according to Politico, has been consulted by Clinton's team, has laid out some ideas that could influence the agenda that Clinton unveils.

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Nationally, the data demonstrates a vicious cycle of debt eroding future wealth creation, which can lead to more debt for future generations. According to a report by the think tank Demos, the effects of exorbitant student debt can linger long after college, with the average debt burden potentially costing grads more than $200,000 of lifetime earnings.

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In weekly calls and in meetings over the past few months, Hillary Clinton’s policy team has been soliciting input from policy experts with ties to Sen. Elizabeth Warren, with the goal of making student loan reform the core of Clinton’s economic agenda.

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More than 1.9 million Black Americans work in retail, accounting for 11 percent of the industry’s total workforce. Despite being the second-largest source of employment for Black workers, new data from the NAACP and equality advocacy organization, Demos, finds that the industry is rife with racial inequality and poor earning potential.

The general idea is that students who attend a four-year public college would have their tuition and debt reduced almost to zero through a combination of moves. The federal government would increase its aid to states for higher education, so schools could bring down tuition. Pell Grants would be increased for low-income students, and with lower tuition this money could be spent by students on costs like books.

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A recent study released by public policy group Demos and the NAACP found that retailers pay black and Hispanic full-time salespeople just 75 percent of what they pay white employees in the same positions. When it comes to cashiers, black and Hispanics make about 90 percent of what their white colleagues earn.
 
Currently, there are 10 million non-Hispanic whites, 2. 3 million Hispanics, 1.9 million African Americans and 800,000 Asian workers in the retail industry.
The rising cost of attending college has had a serious impact on the finances of most students and their families, but the burden has been distributed unequally.
A new report, released on Tuesday by public policy group Demos and the NAACP, finds that African American and Latino retail employees earn lower wages than their white colleagues.
 
To be succinct, full-time salespersons of color are paid 75 percent of what they pay white workers in the same positions. Meanwhile, Black and Hispanic cashiers make about 90 percent of what their white colleagues earn.