NASFAA Presidential Cheat Sheet: Tracking Higher Ed in the 2020 Race

Student Loan Debt Becomes a Mainstream Issue as Young Voter Turnout Increases

June 19, 2019—The race for the 2020 presidential election is already heating up with more than two dozen candidates throwing their hats in the ring. In this election cycle, higher education—from affordability and accountability to student loan reform and transparency—is playing a larger role than ever before. Both Democrats and Republicans are taking higher education issues to the campaign trail, and younger voters are often eager to hear candidates’ thoughts to improve college affordability.

As the election progresses, the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) continues to closely monitor the candidates and their higher education policy positions. NASFAA’s 2020 Presidential Cheat Sheet provides a compilation of the current Democratic and Republican presidential candidates and their statements and positions on critical higher education programs.

NASFAA has tracked the candidates’ stances on higher education issues over the last several months, as they have proposed their own plans to increase college access and affordability, and voters pepper town hall meetings and campaign events with questions about higher education. Over the next several months, NASFAA will continue to keep a close eye on candidates’ statements and proposals on college affordability and financial aid policy, and will update the cheat sheet accordingly.

The proposals are varied among White House hopefuls, from promises of free college or widespread loan forgiveness, to more nuanced calls to adjust allocation formulas for aid programs or expand 529 Education Savings Accounts. While NASFAA does not endorse or take positions on candidates for any office, the organization does take positions on public policy issues and proposals. Learn more about NASFAA’s advocacy at  

"College affordability and student debt are ideas permeating all parts of economic conversations, and it’s refreshing that candidates for the highest office in the country are taking notice," said Justin Draeger, president and CEO of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators. "Americans who have been most impacted by student loan debt and the cost of college are making up a larger part of our voting population and our workforce, and it is important that their voices are heard and their concerns are addressed. We welcome the chance to work with those in office to continue making meaningful reforms for future, current, and former college students."

To request an interview with a NASFAA spokesperson, please email [email protected].


The National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) is a nonprofit membership organization that represents more than 28,000 financial aid professionals at nearly 3,000 colleges, universities, and career schools across the country. NASFAA member institutions serve nine out of every 10 undergraduates in the United States. Based in Washington, D.C., NASFAA is the only national association with a primary focus on student aid legislation, regulatory analysis, and training for financial aid administrators. For more information, visit

Publication Date: 6/19/2019

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