Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren brought her free-college message Monday evening to Macalester College, a progressive haven located in St. Paul, Minnesota that costs up to $68,000 a year to attend.
“We can do all of that for our babies and so much more. All of that plus we can provide tuition-free technical school, community college, and four-year college for every kid in this country that wants to get an education,” Warren told the massive crowd of supporters.
“Plus, increased Pell Grants so kids who don’t have any money have a meaningful change to go to college,” she continued to applause from the audience. “We can do all of that plus cancel student loan debt for 95 percent of the country.”
According to Macalester College’s website, the flat tuition rate for the upcoming academic year is $56,062, a figure that doesn’t account for housing and fees. Factoring in room and board, and activity fees, the college estimates that annual attendance costs $68,884.
Warren’s campaign originally billed Monday night’s event as a town hall with a q-and-a portion for the audience. That idea was scrapped, however, because of the crowd size, which Warren’s campaign estimated at 12,000.
12k in the Twin Cities on a Monday night. 🤩 pic.twitter.com/xb0US3LwHO
— rebecca pearcey (@itspearcey) August 20, 2019
A volunteer with Minnesota For Warren told Huffington Post’s Hayley Miller that there were so many RSVPs for the event that they had to move it from the school’s field house to Shaw Field, the campus quad.
Volunteer with Minnesota For Warren says there were so many RSVPs to this town hall that they had to move it outside from the Fieldhouse to Shaw Field. pic.twitter.com/hlTx4StTlY
— Hayley Miller (@hayleymiller01) August 19, 2019
Macalester’s football stadium can accommodate 4,000 fans, according to the school website. The school has a student body of 2,174. Macalester doesn’t provide any information on its website on the size or capacity of Shaw Field, the location of Warren’s campaign event.
Macalester College couldn’t confirm Warren’s crowd size estimates with The Minnesota Sun since the event “was a paid rental.”
“The college did not sponsor the event and did not play a role in organizing or promoting the event,” the school said in a statement and directed The Minnesota Sun to the Warren campaign.
Warren thanked her supporters for attending the event, writing on Twitter that “Minnesota is ready to fight for big, structural change.”
Thank you to everyone who came out to our St. Paul town hall this evening! Minnesota is ready to fight for big, structural change. pic.twitter.com/zKelQ3kro8
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) August 20, 2019
Warren continued her tour of the state on Tuesday and hosted a roundtable discussion with Better Futures Minnesota, a non-profit that works with men who have a history of incarceration, homelessness, poverty, and mental illness.
Thomas Adams, president & CEO of @BetterFuturesMN, says formerly incarcerated people are treated “not only as second-class citizens but as no-class citizens.”
“We want to disrupt that,” he says. “It’s amazing what happens when someone feels good about themselves.” pic.twitter.com/7br1jw4VTl
— Hayley Miller (@hayleymiller01) August 20, 2019
Sen. Bernie Sanders is expected to make a campaign stop in Minnesota Saturday night for a “grassroots fundraiser” event at The Hook and Ladder Theater.
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Anthony Gockowski is managing editor of Battleground State News, The Ohio Star, and The Minnesota Sun. Follow Anthony on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Elizabeth Warren” by Elizabeth Warren.