Bernie Sanders’ tuition-free college plan could work, UMass study says

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Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., he speaks during a rally Friday, Feb. 19, 2016, in Reno, Nev. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – A new report shows that it may be possible to pay for free college education, without raising the national debt. The study by the University of Massachusetts at Amherst says that a plan by Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders for tuition-free public college may work.

Providing a free college education for all who want it is expected to cost between $60 and $75 billion. To pay for it, Sanders is proposing a tax on Wall Street trading of stocks and bonds.

The UMass report found that his proposal would conservatively generate about $300 billion per year in new revenue- more than enough to pay for the free college plan. People that 22News spoke with Friday said that they can get behind the idea.

“I think especially community college should be free. And the public colleges, we should find a way to support that. That’s the way to go. I mean it’s a burden on everybody. Families are having a hard time and kids are having a hard time,” Kevin Croake of Easthampton said.

Those opposed to the free college plan say that it would limit college choice, and kill private colleges, because those institutions would be forced to compete with government-subsidized free education.

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