SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- A lot of people still talking today about an idea floated by Mass. Senator and Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren.

On Monday, Warren proposed eliminating the student loan debts of tens of millions of Americans and making all public colleges tuition-free.

Exactly how that would work is still a topic of conversation among local economists and local college students.

Warren's plan would forgive $50,000 in student loans for households earning less than $100,000 a year. According to her campaign, that would provide immediate relief to more than 95 percent of the 45 million Americans with student debt.

Warren is also calling for a drastic increase in federal spending to make tuition and fees free for all students at two- and four-year public colleges - a cost estimated at $1.25 trillion over 10 years.

On the campus of Western New England University in Springfield, senior Alan Keeley is going on to get his doctorate in pharmacy. He said that any help would be welcome.

"I have a loan that's at like 12 percent right now which is, in the long run, going to be a ridiculous amount to pay back. [How much student loans do you think you will have when you graduate? I have like 150," Keeley noted.

Fifth year pharmacy student Emily Cramer added, "Oh yeah, I'll have a lot."

Cramer is also concerned..

"As students get through school, I know their debt accumulates quickly, so it's really important to get students the best education that they can," Cramer explained.

Junior Ben Shea likes Warren's idea, but may be shooting too high.

"Or just to set that number a little lower. Even $10,000 over four years could go a long way compared to not having it," Shea noted.

Western New England University economics professor Karl Petrick told Western Mass News whether you support Warren's plan or not, reducing student loan debt will be one of the number one issues of the 2020 election.

"This is the next big debt bubble that we have. We have the housing bubble that popped in 2007 and look what happened, the Great Recession. If the student loan bubble is now the next big risk in our economy, then to do something before this bubble pops and we see a recession as a result would be a proactive move and would be beneficial for everybody in this economy," Petrick explained.

Copyright 2019 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

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