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Ocasio-Cortez: College students shouldn’t need donation from billionaire to afford college

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) is applauding billionaire philanthropist Robert F. Smith’s surprise decision to pay the tuition and board of Morehouse College’s class of 2019, but she warns being liberated from college debt shouldn’t depend on “a stranger’s enormous act of charity.”

The key, Ocasio-Cortez said after Smith’s announcement, is to make college affordable for everyday Americans.

{mosads}”It’s important to note that people shouldn’t be in a situation where they depend on a stranger’s enormous act of charity for this kind of liberation to begin with (aka college should be affordable), but it is an incredible act of community investment in this system as it is,” Ocasio-Cortez, who before her rise in politics was working as a bartender in New York City, said on Twitter.

She also tweeted that the gift could be part of a new “natural experiment” to see how those who benefit from Smith’s gift fare and what choices they make compared to their peers. 

Smith agreed to pay off the remaining loans of the graduating students at Morehouse, with tuition, room and board at just under $50,000 per year for each student.

Ocasio-Cortez has called for tuition-free public colleges and other programs, as well as for boosting affordability in higher education.

Tags Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Commencement speaker Morehouse College Student loan

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