With a debacle of a presidential debate televised on Sept. 29, many major issues that affect college students were overlooked.
It can be hard to understand how Democratic Candidate Joe Biden’s views differ from Republican President Donald Trump’s views on some important issues, which makes the voting decision in November even more difficult.
The second presidential debate was canceled as Pres. Trump declined to participate virtually but the two candidates are scheduled to debate in person on Oct. 22.
Here’s a list of the most important issues that may affect Kirkwood Community College students.
College Tuition and Student Loans
Biden: He has an extensive plan for college education and student loan forgiveness. According to JoeBiden.com, the biggest component of his plan includes free tuition for two-year public colleges and training programs.
It would be a collaboration between the Federal and state government. The Federal government would pay for 75% of the tuition and the state government would cover the rest of the cost.
He has piggybacked off of Senator Bernie Sanders free tuition policy. All two- and four-year public colleges would offer free tuition to any person or family that makes less than $125,000 a year.
Biden wants to create a grant program to help community colleges ensure students are successful and that they graduate.
Students who have to work as well as go to school would be able to use their Pell grant and other financial aid for more than tuition.
He wants to create wraparound services for students with disabilities, low income students, minorities, single parents, and veterans. These public services would include child care and mental health services.
Biden also wants to double the max amount a student can receive from the Pell grant. This is to keep up with the rise in tuition over the years.
As for loan forgiveness, Biden wants to forgive up to $50,000 in student loans for public servants.
When loan re-payment comes around, his plan is to cap payments at 5% of a person’s income.
Trump: He wants to expand Pell grants and other federal student loans for students in certain skills programs.
According to Cleveland.com, Trump wants to set limits on what people can receive from parent PLUS loans and graduate PLUS loans. He also wants to eliminate subsidized student loans.
When student loan repayment comes around, Trump’s plan includes a cap at 12.5% of a person’s income.
Biden: He helped create the Affordable Care Act as vice president with former president Barack Obama. If elected, he wants to protect the ACA.
According to his campaign website, Biden wants to give all Americans the choice to buy public health insurance. With this insurance, he plans on negotiating lower prices from health care providers. Medicare plans would cover all primary care without the insured having to pay a co-pay.
Biden’s plan includes helping the middle class with health insurance. One way he wants to accomplish this is by lowering insurance coverage from 9.86% to 8.5% of a person’s income.
Trump: He attempted to repeal the Affordable Care Act when he was elected. He had a replacement plan. However, his health care plan was blocked.
According to NBC News, Trump has claimed he still plans to cancel the ACA. However, he has yet to come up with another alternative.
He was able to repeal the requirement of every American to have health insurance or they’d be forced to pay a tax penalty.
Trump has given $1.8 billion in government funding to help battle the opioid crisis. The funding has helped cover prevention and treatment expenses.
According to NPR, he also wants to allow the import of prescription medications from other countries. These countries would charge a cheaper price on important medications, making it more affordable.
Biden: He has proposed investing $640 billion over a 10-year period to give everyone affordable homes in safe neighborhoods. According to JoeBiden.com, his money would provide financial assistance to help minorities and low- income families pull themselves out of poverty.
Biden also wants to reinstate the Affirmatively Furthering Fair House Rule that was created by former president Obama. This act ensured that anyone receiving HUD funds can’t discriminate.
Trump: He repealed the Affirmatively Furthering Fair House Rule in July. According to CNN, he believes that bringing affordable housing in suburban areas has lowered property values and has increased crime.
Biden: He wants to increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour. According to JoeBiden.com, his plan includes a raise for farmers and domestic workers. He also wants to make sure that overtime is paid to all workers.
Trump: According to USA Today, Trump campaigned in 2016 on raising the minimum wage to $10 an hour. He has yet to actually make a change to the federal minimum wage. His recent views on this subject are unclear.
Biden and Trump have concerns about many of the same issues. However, their plans to fix these problems are vastly different.
A big chunk of the issues addressed concern Kirkwood students. It’s important to get informed on what affects college students so you can make an informed decision at the polls.
Casey is a poet with aspirations of becoming a journalist. You can find her reading or watching true crime documentaries.