2016 Party Platforms: Republican vs. Democrats

July 20, 2016

The Republican party and Democratic party have officially released their platforms for 2016, below are excerpts from both original documents that directly concern our students and the FIU community. To view the documents in their entirety follow the links included in each section.


Year Established: 2016



  • Technological change drives our positions with regard to STEM education, business and corporate involvement with educational certifications, workforce issues, privacy, cyber and national security, energy development, regulation, and other elements of our campaign for growth and jobs.
  • It is why we propose to simplify the tax code, reduce corporate rates, transition to a territorial system, and create incentives for investment and innovation.
  • We want to create a… learning system that gives Americans the skills needed to seize the opportunities of the 21st century



  • Our colleges, universities, and trade schools… drive much of the research that keeps America competitive and, by admitting large numbers of foreign students, convey our values and culture to the world.
  • We call on state officials to preserve our public colleges, universities, and trade schools as places of learning and the exchange of ideas, not zones of intellectual intolerance or “safe zones,” as if college students need protection from the free exchange of ideas.
  • A student’s First Amendment rights do not end at the schoolhouse gates.
  • Colleges, universities, and trade schools must not infringe on their freedom of speech and association in the name of political correctness.
  • We condemn the campus-based BDS (Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions) campaign against Israel. It is anti Semitism and should be denounced by advocates of academic freedom.


Page 35-36    COLLEGE COSTS

  • Nationwide, student debt now exceeds credit card debt with average debt levels per student totaling roughly $27,000.
  • Delinquency rates on student loans are now as high as they were on subprime mortgages during the housing crisis.
  • Over half of recent college grads are unemployed or underemployed, working at jobs for which their expensive educations gave them no preparation.
  • We need new systems of learning to compete with traditional four-year schools: Technical institutions, online universities, lifelong learning, and work-based learning in the private sector.
    • Public policy should advance their affordability, innovation, and transparency and should recognize that a four-year degree from a brick-and-mortar institution is not the only path toward a prosperous and fulfilling career.
  • The federal government should not be in the business of originating student loans.
  • In order to bring down college costs and give students access to a multitude of financing options, private sector participation in student financing should be restored.
  • Any regulation that increases college costs must be challenged to balance its worth against its negative economic impact on students and their families.
  • In order to encourage new modes of higher education delivery to enter the market, accreditation should be decoupled from federal financing, and states should be empowered to allow a wide array of accreditation and credentialing bodies to operate.
  • This model would foster innovation, bring private industry into the credentialing market, and give students the ability to customize their college experience.


Year Established: 2016



  • Democrats support ambitious public and private investments in science, technology, and research.
  • We will nurture the next generation of scientists, engineers, and entrepreneurs, especially women and people of color…
  • … we must harness the promise of technological innovation to promote community participation and enhance opportunities to achieve greater economic self-sufficiency for people with disabilities.
  • We will protect the intellectual property rights of artists, creators, and inventors at home and abroad.
  • Democrats will fight against unfair theft of intellectual property and trade secrets.
  • We will also increase access to global markets for American intellectual property and other digital trade by opposing quotas, discriminatory measures, and data localization requirements.



  • Democrats believe that if you are an American who wants to get an education, you should always be able to get one: money should never stand in the way.
  • Bold new investments by the federal government, coupled with states reinvesting in higher education and colleges holding the line on costs, will ensure that Americans of all backgrounds will be prepared for the jobs and economy of the future.
  • We will make community college free, while ensuring the strength of our historically minority-sering institutions.
  • … we will not forget about the millions of borrowers who need help with their debt right now.


Page 20      STUDENT DEBT

  • Democrats will allow those who currently have student debt to refinance their loans at the lowest rates possible.
  • We will simplify and expand access to income-based repayment so that no student loan borrowers ever have to pay more than they can afford.
  • And we will significantly cut interest rates for future undergraduates, thereby preventing the federal government from making billions of dollars in profit from student loans.
  • Democrats will also fight for a Student Borrower Bill of Rights to ensure borrowers get adequate information about options to avoid or get out of delinquency or default.
  • We will hold lenders and loan servicers to high standards to help borrowers in default rehabilitate and repay their debts.
  • Finally, Democrats will restore the prior standard in bankruptcy law to allow borrowers with student loans discharge their debts in bankruptcy as a measure of last resort.



  • We will strengthen our nation’s public and private Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Hispanic-Serving Institutions, Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institutions, Tribal Colleges and Universities, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian-Serving Institutions, and other minority-serving institutions by providing a dedicated fund of tens of billions of dollars to keep costs down, provide a quality education, and provide dedicated support to improve student outcomes and completion rates.