Ron Johnson’s issues page on his campaign website does not contain information on higher education nor student loan debt. While in office, Johnson twice voted against federal legislation that would allow the refinancing of federal and private student loans. [Senate Roll Call 185, 6/11/14 and Senate Roll Call 86, 3/25/15]. In 2015, Politifact rated a statement claiming Johnson “is opposed to all government assisted student loans” as “mostly true.” Johnson also said “he’d like to see more for-profit colleges enter the market” at an event in 2014.
Hillary Clinton’s campaign website has a section devoted to “Making college debt-free and taking on student debt.” The section contains a fact sheet for Clinton’s plan that highlights for support for cutting interest rates on student loans and allowing the refinancing of existing student loans. Clinton’s campaign has also released an interactive calculator to highlight benefits of her plan. Clinton has said, “It just makes sense, if you can refinance your mortgage or your car loan, you should be able to refinance your student loan too.”
Donald Trump’s campaign website features a video on his issues page titled “Former Students Speak Out in Support of Trump University” in response to what the page denotes as recent attacks against the for-profit college. Additionally the page has a video titled “Trump University Truth” that also addresses media reports on the for-profit college. An August 2016 piece in the New York Times notes the now defunct Trump University is the “subject of two class-action lawsuits in California” and a third in New York. Trump’s campaign co-chair Sam Clovis said in an Inside Higher Ed article from May 2016 that they want to move “the government out of lending and restoring that role to private banks” as well as that “colleges should be playing a role in determining loan worthiness” of students. Clovis also said “community colleges are ‘damn near free’ now, and ‘almost anyone can afford community college” when asked about supporting Obama’s proposal to make community college free.