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For Former Maryland Governor Proposing Debt-Free College, It's Personal

Martin O’Malley racked up $339,200 in loans putting two kids through college. He wants to lighten the load for others.

Democratic presidential hopeful Martin O’Malley plans Wednesday to put forward an ambitious five-year goal of allowing students to graduate debt-free from public colleges and universities across the country.


The proposition is deeply personal for O’Malley: Aides say he and his wife have already incurred $339,200 in loans to put the two eldest of their four children through universities. And college affordability was a leading priority for O’Malley during his tenure as Maryland’s governor.

The issue is one being talked about a lot these days by Democrats, including the party’s other White House candidates, as more and more students enter the workforce with hefty debt loads.

O’Malley, who plans to detail his plan during a morning event in New Hampshire, will call on states to freeze tuition rates at public colleges and universities -- as Maryland did for four years -- and propose other measures that would help those carrying debt.


Daniel Luzer is GOVERNING's news editor.
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