Research and graphic by FutureEd Research Associate Rachel Grich
The upcoming elections will bring a renewed push for providing "free college" for students. Many states have already instituted such programs, providing free tuition and, in some cases, fees and incidental costs. But not all programs are created equal. Some are targeted for low- and middle-income students. Some cover only community college. Some cover only tuition. In addition to the state programs reflected here, more 200 local "college promise programs" serve students in communities across the country. In some cases, private and philanthropic donors fund the program, rather than government sources.
At FutureEd's panel discussion, Should College Be Free?, experts shared their views on the free college movement, which has been championed by Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and the progressive wing of the Democratic Party. To learn more:
- View the panel discussion
- Visit the College Promise Campaign website to learn the rationale for the program
- Read a FutureEd blog post arguing that free college is the wrong approach for helping low-income students
- Read The Century Foundation report: The Future of Statewide College Promise Programs
- Read an Education Trust blog post on how best to fashion college promise programs.