Apr 25, 2019 - Politics & Policy

Study: Warren's college debt plan benefits high-earners

2020 Presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren
Elizabeth Warren. Photo: Sergio Flores/Getty Images

The Brookings Institution released an analysis of Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren's student debt-forgiveness plan, illustrating that it would help higher income earners or those who have post-graduate degrees.

Details: Warren has proposed a plan that would cost $640 billion to erase the debt of 75% of Americans who grapple with ongoing student loan obligations.

By the numbers:

  • Brookings estimates that 48% of the $640 billion would be earmarked for the top 40% of earners, or households that make more than $67,847 annually, the Wall Street Journal reports. This indicates that more than half of the benefits of Warren's proposal are distributed to American families that make less than $68,000 each year.
  • Nearly 60% of relief goes to families headed by someone with a bachelor's degree or who only finished some college or associate's degree.
  • 25% of the debt relief would go to people with professional degrees, doctorates or those who have managerial jobs.
  • About 28% would go to the bottom 40% of earners with college debt.
  • Nearly 10% would go to the bottom 1/5 of households with college debt.
  • No one who makes more than $250,000 annually would receive any money.

Go deeper: Elizabeth Warren: Everything you need to know about the 2020 candidate

Editor's note: This story has been corrected to remove the word primarily in reference to how Warren's plan will benefit higher income earners, and reflect specific figures within the Brookings Institution's study.

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