The Debt Collective is pleased to announce that we have won National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) Big Idea Policy Challenge. This is an annual award for the most innovative policy idea to improve federal student aid programs. The winner was announced today at the NASFAA conference in New Orleans.

Our winning idea is simple: end student debt for good by making higher education tuition free for all.

You may be asking how we can afford to completely fund public education. Our research shows that after stripping off the amount that the government already spends to subsidize higher education — including at predatory for-profit institutions — the total amount of new money necessary would be as little as $15 billion a year.  Fifteen billion is a fraction of one percent of yearly government spending; it is merely a rounding error in the federal budget, less than the government currently spends on tax breaks for just 20 corporations.

Free higher education is possible, even the student loan industry agrees!  In fact, many countries around the world fund public universities, and college was low-cost or free in the United States for much of the 20th century. Read more about our winning proposal at

Help us celebrate our big win on Facebook and Twitter under the hashtags #NASFAA and #FinAid