Thanks to certain progressive senators and Democratic presidential hopefuls, interest in debt-free college is at an all-time high. But what happens next is very much uncertain — people don’t even agree on what debt-free college means, much less how (or whether) to make it a reality. Demos, which put the idea on Washington’s radar via a white paper last May, is now trying to tackle both issues — by wrangling a common definition of the idea, and starting to codify it via Higher Education Act reauthorization.
Officials from the left-leaning think tank didn’t expect the idea to take off so quickly, they told Morning Education, and are now “catching our breath from a policy perspective.” But despite it being early in the presidential race, there’s no time to dawdle. “What we don’t want to see is it become a summer-of-2015 campaign issue,” Demos senior policy analyst Mark Huelsman said — dropped from the debate as abruptly as it entered.