Joey B’s lie number 1,000,003

Joe Biden
stated on October 25, 2020 in a “60 Minutes” interview:
“I can send every qualified person to a four-year college in their state for $150 billion.”

In an interview on CBS’ “60 Minutes,” Joe Biden slipped up while describing his plan to make public colleges free for all families with incomes below $125,000.

“I can send every qualified person to a four-year college in their state for $150 billion,” he told interviewer Norah O’Donnell.

In voiceover, O’Donnell said that Biden’s staff had later reached out to CBS to tell them that Biden had misspoke. “The cost of free public college could be twice as much as he said,” O’Donnell said.

Biden’s initial statement was wrong, but we were interested in how his campaign had calculated the price of the free public college plan.

When we reached out and asked about their methodology, Biden’s campaign walked us through the variables it considered to arrive at its estimate. It also pointed us to an independent Georgetown study that analyzed the financial effects of the proposal.

The Biden calculation

Biden’s free public college plan is based on Sen. Bernie Sanders and Rep. Pramila Jayapal’s College for All Act of 2017, which stalled in committee. The proposal would make public colleges and universities tuition-free for families with incomes below $125,000. Students receiving other forms of financial aid, such as Pell Grants, could use that aid to cover attendance costs beyond tuition, like room and board and transportation.

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