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Cain says he opposes all federal student aid

“I believe that if a state wants to help with college education, that they should do that,” Cain said. “Secondly, you have people living within communities within states that are willing to help fund those kinds of programs. So I do not believe that it is the responsibility of the federal government to help fund a college education ... our resources are limited and I believe that the best solution is the one closest to the problem. The people within the state, the people within the communities, ultimately, I believe, are the ones who have that responsibility.”

Cain is not the only Republican candidate to propose ending the student loan program. Texas Rep. Ron Paul also endorsed phasing out the federal student loan program, arguing in an editorial Friday that "we will assist them the most by eventually transitioning student aid away from the inefficient and ineffective federal government and back to local governments and private market-based solutions — which simply work better."

Cain and Paul both cited their experiences working through college as formative, and argued that putting more responsibility for costs on students themselves would help individuals make better choices.

“I happen to know that there are a lot of young people who don’t come from high economic income families and they made different choices as to the schools that they go to,” Cain said. “If you want an education, a college education in America, I believe that people can get it if they are determined to get it. They might have to work a little harder. They might have to work a little longer, but the fact that we have so many options for people to get an advanced education in this nation, I think it is one of the big pluses that we have, that we offer our young people, that a lot of other countries do not offer.”