Free College Idea Picks up Momentum

Adele Williams hears from a lot of her friends from high school about their struggles to afford the cost of college.

“I have a best friend who goes to a public university, and she’s in quite a lot of debt,” said Williams. Higher and higher tuition, she said, “is just a scary thought for people to face.”

Except for her. Williams doesn’t pay any tuition at all. She goes to Alice Lloyd College in Kentucky, where students attend for free in exchange for working.

Her friends at other schools, she said, “are mostly jealous.”

Now the idea of college for free for almost everyone has unexpectedly leapt to the top of the conversation about the ever-rising cost of tuition.

Tennessee will make its community colleges free beginning next year. Oregon is moving forward with a study considering the idea.

A new report recommends that the first two years of public universities and colleges be free nationwide, and a nonprofit called Redeeming America’s Promise goes even further with a proposal to give every lower- and middle-class student a scholarship to cover the full cost of college. <Read more.>

Via Jon Marcus, The Hechinger Report.

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