Colleges and universities are helping out students

This article has been updated from its original publication on June 17 with information about Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton’s proposal for affordable tuition as well as information regarding the U.S. Military Academy. The newest slide is first on the list. 

College student debt is soaring, as many recent graduates are well aware. It follows, then, that prospective students would be making the affordability and profitability of their education a priority when selecting their future school.

The notion of free college tuition has made it to the presidential campaign trail. Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders proposed free tuition at all public colleges and universities. Hillary Clinton has come out with her own tuition affordability proposal, under which students from families earning $85,000 or less would be eligible for free tuition at four-year public colleges and universities. The threshold would expand to families making $125,000 or less by 2021.

“American families are drowning in debt caused by ever-rising college costs and it is imperative that the next president put forward a bold plan to make debt-free college available to all,” Clinton said in a statement, as cited by The Wall Street Journal.

In the short term, some colleges and universities are already looking to alleviate the financial burdens many students are subjected to after graduation.

Some schools, including members of the Ivy League, are looking to increase their competitiveness in recruiting and enrolling undergraduate students by making it more affordable for low- and middle-income students to attend — namely by replacing needs-based loans with grants or scholarships as well as covering the entire cost of tuition for some based on family income.

There are also some small colleges that offer free tuition and cover the cost of other expenses for all of their students. The catch? These schools tend to be super-specialized or based on Christian values. Some of these schools are considered Work Colleges, which is a group of seven colleges in the U.S. that integrate part-time work as part of a student’s total education.

But just because a college covers tuition doesn’t mean that all expenses will be covered. It varies widely what each school will and won’t cover.