The US Gets Some More Tuition-Free College Programs

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Education Government United States

The US Gets Some More Tuition-Free College Programs (msn.com)

Posted by EditorDavid on Sunday March 06, 2022 @10:34AM from the scholarships-for-scholarship dept.

U.S. states and municipalities are launching new programs covering the costs of college tuition — or expanding existing programs, reports the Washington Post: At least seven tuition-free initiatives have publicly launched since November, according to the College Promise campaign, which advocates making the first two or more years of college free. The governors of Pennsylvania and Maine are pushing for new programs, while the University of Texas System Board of Regents recently approved a $300 million endowment to cover tuition for more students at its public institutions. College Promise programs, as tuition-free initiatives are commonly known, enjoy widespread support across the political spectrum. Forty-seven states and D.C. have at least one such program at the college, city or state level. There are 33 statewide programs that cover tuition at community colleges or universities and higher education, and experts say the number is likely to grow.

Critics of universal public college say the price tag is unsustainable. Opponents of tuition-free community college say too many of the schools have poor outcomes, with fewer than 40 percent of students earning a degree within six years. Advocates argue that could be remedied by providing more institutional dollars and financial aid to keep students on track....

A number of states have used federal pandemic funds to shore up College Promise programs. Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) used some of the state's allocation to create Futures for Frontliners, a scholarship for essential workers to attend community college. After the scholarship rolled out in 2020, about 100,000 people signed up, Whitmer said in an interview last year. Those who did not qualify were encouraged to apply for Michigan Reconnect, which covers community college tuition for residents 25 and older without a degree.

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