College Costs & Debt in the 2020 Elections

Event graphic for the college affordability panel

  • Panelists James Kvaal and Daniella Gibbs Leger talk with Adam Harris on the Carsey School Stage
  • Carsey School Director Michael Ettlinger Speaks from the Carsey Stage
  • Panelists James Kvaal and Daniella Gibbs Leger talk with Adam Harris on the Carsey School Stage
  • Adam Harris Speaks on Carsey School stage in Durham, NH
  • Audience Member asking a question in Huddleston Hall
  • Andrew Yang speaking at a University of New Hampshire podium
  • Michael Bennett talking into a microphone on the Carsey Stage
  • Bill Weld talking to the public from the Carsey School stage
  • Deval Partick speaks to an audience from the Carsey School Stage

College Costs & Debt in the 2020 Elections

Thursday, February 6,
3:30 - 7:30 p.m.

UNH Huddleston Hall Ballroom, 73 Main Street, Durham, NH 03824
Nearest parking location is the Campus Crossing Visitor Lot.
For campus-wide parking, view the UNH Parking Map.


Accessible parking and access: Accessible parking located in the Campus Crossing Parking Lot.
An elevator located at the back entrance of Huddleston (ground floor) will take you to the 1st Floor/Ballroom.

Join us Thursday, February 6, for the College Costs & Debt in the 2020 Elections event, held in the UNH Huddleston Hall Ballroom. The Carsey School of Public Policy, UNH’s Campus Living Association, and The Institute for College Access & Success have partnered to bring this event to the Durham campus to explore the challenge of college affordability, how this issue is playing out on the campaign trail, and how it might be addressed by whomever is in the White House in 2021.

Speakers include presidential candidates of both parties, U.S. legislators, and political and college affordability experts. All presidential candidates from both parties were invited to speak.

Watch the entire event or drop in to see a candidate or two. Also, be sure to share your photos and video from the event using the hashtag #CollegeCosts2020.

Has your life been impacted by college debt or the cost of higher education?

Share your story with us. Your story could be included in a brochure produced by the UNH Campus Living Association and shared at this event. More info

Schedule of Events

Welcoming and opening remarks: 3:30 p.m.
Michael Ettlinger, Director of the Carsey School

(3:45 p.m. panel discussion)

Photo of James Kvaal, President of TICAS

James Kvaal, President, The Institute for College Access & Success


Daniella Gibbs Leger, Center for American Progress

Daniella Gibbs Leger, Executive Vice President, Center for American Progress Action Fund

Adam Harris, Atlantic Magazine

Adam Harris, Staff Writer, The Atlantic

(approx. 4:30 - 7:30 p.m.)

Andrew Yang, presidential candidate

Andrew Yang, presidential candidate (5 p.m.)

Photo of Sen. Michael Bennet

Michael Bennet, presidential candidate (5:30 p.m.)

Photo of former governor Bill Weld

Bill Weld, presidential candidate (6:30 p.m.)

Headshot of Deval Patrick, speaker at Carsey's event.

Deval Patrick, presidential candidate (7 p.m.)

Primary Series Speaker Biographies

Tulsi Gabbard

Photo of presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard.

Rep. Gabbard is the first female combat veteran to run for President and one of the first elected to Congress. She is a major in the Army National Guard, having served for 16 years and been deployed twice to the Middle East. In Congress, Gabbard has sat on the Homeland Security, Foreign Affairs, and Armed Services committees, in addition to serving as Vice Chair of the Democratic National Committee.

Andrew Yang

Candidate Andrew Yang will speak at the Carsey School of Public Policy.

Presidential candidate Andrew Yang is an American entrepreneur and the founder of Venture for America. From 2000 to 2009, he worked in startups and early-stage growth companies as either a founder or executive officer. In 2012, he was selected as a “Champion of Change” by the Obama administration and, in 2015, as a “Presidential Ambassador for Global Entrepreneurship.”

Michael Bennet

Sen. Michael Bennet, speaker at the Carsey School.

Senator Michael Bennet currently serves as the senior U.S. Senator from Colorado. He has served in this capacity since 2009 and has sat on the U.S. Senate committees for Finance and for Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry. Bennet previously oversaw the Denver Public Schools as superintendent of schools, and he served as counsel to the Deputy Attorney General of the United States under the Clinton administration.

Bill Weld

Photo of candidate for U.S. President, Bill Weld.

Presidential candidate Bill Weld is a former two-term Governor of Massachusetts, elected in 1990 and then again in 1994. He was the first Republican to be elected Governor of Massachusetts in 20 years and was ranked the most fiscally conservative governor in the country by The Wall Street Journal and the Cato Institute. Prior to being elected governor, Weld served as the United States Attorney for Massachusetts and as Assistant U.S. Attorney General in charge of the Criminal Division.

Deval Patrick

Headshot of Deval Patrick, speaker at Carsey's event.

Presidential candidate Deval Patrick served as Governor of Massachusetts from 2007 to 2015. He was the state’s first black Governor. By the end of his second term, Massachusetts ranked first in the nation in energy efficiency, healthcare coverage, and student achievement. Prior to successfully running a campaign for Massachusetts governor, Patrick graduated from Harvard College and Harvard Law School; served on the NAACP Legal Defense Fund; and led the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, where he worked on issues like racial profiling, police misconduct, and prisoner abuse.