South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who has gained more social media engagement on a per article basis than any of his potential 2020 rivals, has endorsed debt-free college over tuition-free college.

Key details
  • Buttigieg told people at a rally at Northeastern University that he isn't for free college, but is instead looking at ways to lessen the cost of college — a more moderate approach than fellow Democratic candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).
  • Buttigieg is looking into expanding Pell Grants to low-income students, loan forgiveness programs and interest rates to refinance loans.
  • States should cover a higher proportion of tuition than students, he said.
“Americans who have a college degree earn more than Americans who don’t. As a progressive, I have a hard time getting my head around the idea of a majority who earn less because they didn’t go to college subsidizing a minority who earn more because they did.”
— Buttigieg told students at Northeastern University

What to watch: "Mayor Pete's" opposition to free college may put a damper on his rising popularity among the millennials. Look for Buttigieg to release a concrete proposal as the 2020 primary heats up.

This article will be updated as Buttigieg releases more details.

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