Monday, November 27, 2023

When Will Community College Be Free

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Ways Community College Students Save

Why this former education secretary believes community college should be free

~ $1000 Savings by participating in College in High School also called dual enrollment programs. Dual enrollment programs, also called early college access, offer discounted or free tuition on 4 community college courses.

~ $11,000 Savings by enrolling in 2+2 programs & Transfer Degree programs Students who study 2 years at a community college, then transfer and study 2 more years to earn a Bachelors degree, save an average of $11,000 on tuition and fees. Plus, the State of Maryland, and some 4-year colleges, offer 2+2 Transfer Scholarships to eligible students.

~ $2000/year* Savings Statewide & Workforce Shortage ProgramsReduced tuition may be available to students based on the 2 programs outlined below.

  • Workforce Shortage Programs Special tuition rates may be available at Marylands community colleges for students pursuing education in areas projected to have future workforce shortages.
  • Statewide Programs Maryland students pay in-county tuition rates regardless of residence county, if pursuing training in high-cost programs as designated by the State of Maryland.
  • These program areas are evaluated annually by , and are subject to change.

    ~ $#,### Savings Members-only Scholarships for Phi Theta Kappa Honor Students Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society makes $90 million in scholarships available to PTK members only. PTK International Honor Society is the academic honor society for two-year colleges.

    *Estimate based on averaged costs and savings.

    Should College Be Free Pros Cons And Alternatives

    It’s a question that might be more relevant today than ever before: Should college be free in America? Many people have very passionate opinions on the matter. Maybe you’re one of them. But this question deserves a lot more than a simple yes or no answer. It deserves an open mind and a balanced exploration of the potential benefits, drawbacks, and alternatives.

    After all, America’s future is at stake. And nearly everyone agrees that education is one of the biggest factors that will determine the nation’s fate going forward. So we have to get it right. Although some people might feel that the current system of higher education and vocational training is working well, many other people believe that it needs at least a little bit of improvement in one way or another.

    College affordability is often among the top concerns. When the cost of attending college, university, or trade school is too high, a lot of students simply choose not to pursue a higher education. And that leaves many of them ill-equipped to find good employment, let alone attain the American dream. But high costs also leave some college graduates with levels of debt that hamper their abilities to attain at least a middle-class lifestyle.

    So, should college be free? Is that even possible? Keep reading, and decide for yourself.

    Whats The Difference Between First

    Its worth taking a moment to understand the difference between first-dollar and last-dollar grants. Many of the free community college programs are last-dollar programs. Only a handful offer what is known as a first-dollar program.

    The more common of the two, last-dollar programs, are awarded to students to help cover the cap between the cost of tuition and how much funding the student has already received. This means that federal financial aid and other types of aid is taken into account before awarding tuition money.

    The less common of the two, first-dollar programs, waives tuition for students without consideration of the other grants or funding that the student might be able to qualify for.

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    Students Behave Differently When They Know College Is Free

    Taking into account that actual tuition and fees are already essentially free, could there still be significant effects when students know for certain that their schooling will cost nothing? Yes.

    That was the finding of Susan Dynarksi, Katherine Michelmore, Stephanie Owen and C.J. Libassi, of the College Board, in their free college experiment at the University of Michigan.

    In the Michigan experiment, researchers contacted low-income, high-achieving students who were likely admissible to University of Michigan to let them know they had four years of guaranteed free tuition and fees. This is aid that the students likely would have received anyway had they taken the usual steps to apply to the University of Michigan and apply for financial aid. But the simplicity of the process and the guarantee increased the number of students who enrolled at the University of Michigan by 15 percentage points. The rate at which students did not enroll in any college fell by four percentage points.

    Leading The Way To College Affordability

    U.S. can
    We’ve made college tuition-free for middle class New Yorkers.

    With the passage of the FY 2018 State Budget, New York is now home to the nation’s first accessible college program – The Excelsior Scholarship.

    Under this groundbreaking program, more than 940,000 middle-class families and individuals making up to $125,000 per year will qualify to attend college tuition-free at all CUNY and SUNY two- and four-year colleges in New York State. The new program begins in the fall of 2017 and will be phased in over three years.

    In order to apply, students must:

    – Be residents of New York State- Plan to attend SUNY or CUNY two- or four-year college- Complete 30 credits per year towards their program of study – Plan to live and work in New York following graduation for the length of time they participate in the scholarship program

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    Community College Promise Program

    Starting in the fall of academic year 2019-2020, eligible students can attend community college tuition-free. Maryland has earmarked $15 million per year to help low- and middle-income students attend community college full-time. The Promise program is open to students in both academic as well as credit and non-credit career training courses.

    Regulations have been developed by . Please visit MHECs website for more information on .

    What Is The California College Promise Grant

    The California College Promise Grant pays community college fees for low-income California residents attending community college in the state.

    This grant is available regardless of the number of units the student takes . Students are eligible for this grant even if theyve been studying already.

    To qualify for the California College Promise Grant, you must be a California resident or AB 540 eligible student . Further, you must demonstrate financial need.

    How can you prove financial need? You may qualify if:

    • You receive Temporary Aid for Needy Families , Supplemental Security Income , or another form of government assistance for low-income families.
    • You meet the low-income standards according to federal poverty guidelines. For example, as of January 2021, a two-person household must earn less than $17,420 to qualify .

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    Free Community College Will Probably Be Trimmed From Bidens Economic Package

    While Lozano and other Latino students juggle books and bank accounts, President Joe Bidens plan to make two years of community college tuition and fees free is expected to be dropped, NBC News has reported, to cut the price tag on his social spending package from $3.5 trillion to $1.5 trillion and get support from all Democratic-voting members in the Senate.

    Negotiators have debated whether paying tuition and fees goes far enough. Students often must pay other costs, such as transportation and room and board. Some also questioned whether the plan would make any difference for students who already get financial assistance.

    Regardless of the fate of the free community college proposal, experts agree that boosting Latino educational achievement is critical if the country is to have a competitive, increasingly Latino workforce and resolve racial and economic inequities.

    In 2019, 31 percent of Latinos 25 and older held associates degrees or higher, up from 15 percent in 2000, according to the Education Data Initiative. By comparison, 56 percent of non-Hispanic whites held associates degrees or higher, up from 44 percent.

    “A growing number of jobs in the future will require some form of postsecondary education, but the educational attainment gap between Latinos and Whites could lead to worsening workforce disparities, occupational segregation, and economic inequality,” UnidosUS, a Latino advocacy group, said in a report last year on Latinos and higher education.

    Spring Numbers Show ‘dramatic’ Drop In College Enrollment

    Should community college be free?

    A federal, universal benefit free of income limits and applications, like the proposal originally included in the bill, makes it more clear. She says people understand the concept of free.

    “One of the most dramatic findings of 15 years of research is that simplicity is your ally,” Miller-Adams says. If you can make that promise you can go to college without paying tuition you get a lot of leverage out of that message.”

    In other words, students who might not consider college perhaps because they’re the first in their family to go or they don’t think they can afford it would get a super-clear message: Community college is free.

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    The High Cost Of Higher Education

    As tuition rises and state budgets remain tight, what can we expect lawmakers to do this year to make higher education more affordable?

    Some conservatives argue that free college programs pass along increasingly high costs to taxpayers. The state-level programs for free community college, or free four-year college, have the same underlying problem, which is they dont address the root causes of tuition inflation, said Mary Clare Amselem, a policy analyst at the Heritage Foundation, a think tank based in Washington, D.C.

    She also questioned the push to encourage students to attend community college, given that many have dismal graduation rates. Twenty-four percent of first-time students graduate from public two-year colleges in three years, while 60 percent of first-time students graduate from public four-year programs in six years, according to federal statistics.

    Lawmakers might want to consider spending money on high school vocational training or apprenticeships instead, Amselem said. We should have multiple pathways and options to career success.

    Meanwhile, some left-leaning groups have criticized free college programs for spending money on wealthier students and failing to address costs of attendance beyond tuition.

    And many grants promoted as free college dont actually cover the full cost of going to college, she said.

    I think thats stifling, she said. When are you sacrificing the great for the perfect?

    Does Minnesota Already Have Free Tuition And Fees

    The Office of Higher Education analyzed data on tuition and fees, Pell Grants, and Minnesota State Grants for Minnesota resident undergraduates enrolled at a public institution who applied for aid in the 20172018 academic year and projected results forward to the 20192020 academic year.

    Yes, for the lowest income students

    • Dependent students whose Pell and State Grant awards met or exceeded 100% of tuition and fees included those with incomes $0$45,000 at Minnesota State Colleges and incomes $0$30,000 at Minnesota State Universities as shown in Figure 8.
    • Independent students with children whose Pell and State Grants exceeded 100% of tuition and fees at Minnesota State Colleges included those with incomes $0$60,000 and at Minnesota State Universities included those with incomes $0$45,000, as shown in Figure 9.
    • Independent students without children whose Pell and State Grants exceeded 100% of tuition and fees at Minnesota State Colleges included those with incomes $0$30,000 and at Minnesota State Universities included those with incomes $0$10,000, as shown in Figure 10.
    • The lowestincome students receive grants in excess of tuition and fees to offset cost of living expenses.

    Minnesota Dependent Students Percent Receiving Pell + State Grants Covering 100 Percent of Tuition & Fees by Income, FY 2020 Estimates

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    Who Can Receive Free College Tuition

    The Community College Opportunity Grant is for eligible students with an adjusted gross income of $65,000 or less who take 6-18 credits and have applied for federal and state grant aid. If you are a returning student, you currently must meet minimum standards for academic performance and academic progress. You also cannot have a prior college degree. To find more information on eligibility, please visit Find out more information from the Higher Education Student Assistance Authority .

    Some Smaller But Still Important Issues


    If price controls will be a little problematic in a few years and a lot more problematic further down the road, there is a second gotcha that will be disastrous right away, but only for a small number of students. The ACPA defines low-income students as those who meet the financial eligibility criteria for a Pell Grant. In and of itself, thats a good idea, as it ties free tuition to standard federal eligibility for education grants. The problem that will badly affect a small number of students is the following: If family income is just below the Pell Grant limit, the student gets a free ride if family income then rises a few dollars and goes above the limit, the student gets nothing at allneither from Pell Grants nor from tuition support. In order to avoid this knife-edge issue, most subsidy programs, including the Pell Grant program, have benefit phase-out provisions. A phase-out provision ought to be in the ACPA too.

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    What We Don’t Know

    Its still unclear whether enough Democrats are on board with Biden’s plan for it to ultimately pass in the evenly split Senate. The two biggest holdouts, Manchin and Sinema, released statements Thursday praising “significant progress” on the plan and the “good faith” negotiations, but stopping short of voicing their support for the plan.

    Community College Should Be More Than Just Free

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    By David L. Kirp

    Mr. Kirp is a professor at the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley, and the author, most recently, of The College Dropout Scandal.

    Free community college for everyone is the centerpiece of President Bidens $302 billion, 10-year investment in expanding access to higher education. Though it has been hailed as a revolutionary proposal, this walking-through-the-door access doesnt solve higher educations biggest challenge boosting the number of community college students who graduate or transfer to a four-year school.

    As one undergraduate said: Anyone can get into college. The challenge is staying in college.

    The data tells an abysmal tale. Only four in 10 community college students earn a degree or transfer to a university within six years. Eighty percent of community college freshmen aspire to a bachelors degree or higher, but fewer than a sixth of them reach their goal.

    Those who would benefit the most from an associate degree fare especially badly. Just 36 percent of Latino students and 28 percent of Black students graduate. Students from low-income families do worse. Among those with family incomes below $30,000, fewer than one in six earn a degree.

    Nationwide, if the community college graduation rate is going to rise, data-driven strategies like these need to be replicated.

    Heres what else has been shown to move the needle.

    Follow The New York Times Opinion section on , and .

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    No More Kicking The Can Down The Road On Free Community College

    Joe BidenSouth Africa health minister calls travel bans over new COVID variant ‘unjustified’Biden attends tree lighting ceremony after day out in NantucketSenior US diplomat visiting Southeast Asia to ‘reaffirm’ relationsMOREs proposal for free community college. The proposal, named Americas College Promise, would have established a landmark partnership between the federal government and states to eliminate community college tuition and fees.

    For the first time, students nationwide would have had a predictable, no-cost, high-quality enrollment option, freeing the Pell grant and other aid to cover non-tuition expenses. The plan would have helped 8 million eligible students enroll at community colleges and earn workforce-ready credentials, and also helped prepare the 47 percent of bachelors degree earners who start at a community college. Many states would have had leftover funds to invest in student success and supplemental aid at public colleges.

    Instead, Congress is poised to fund a $550 Pell grant increase: A valuable boost, but one that lacks long-term incentives for lowered charges or new state funding.

    The cut is disappointing, but in the grand scope of higher education policy, its not surprising. Weve seen lawmakers punt on college affordability time and time again. Despite high hopes and campaign promises, this year is like any other.

    That one provision would constitute the biggest win for public universities so far this century.

    What The Us Can Learn From Free College In Chile

    Eligible students can attend community college tuition-free

    One argument against a national free college program, though, is that a patchwork of state and local programs already make college free or very close to free.

    Tennessee Promise is a statewide free college program in that state, and there are free college programs in cities like Dallas and Kalamazoo, Mich. And while existing financial aid scholarships can end up covering community college tuition which is often very affordable the process is often confusing to students and families.

    “The problem with the system we have now is that whether you have a tuition-free path to college or not just depends on the accident of geography,” says Michelle Miller-Adams, a senior researcher at the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research and a professor at Grand Valley State University in Michigan who studies free college programs.

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    Whats Next For Tuition

    What states without free tuition programs are missing, DeAlejandro said, is the culture shift that emphasizes college matters and that every student is college material.

    Butultimately, as the bill was put together, there were other priorities that were higher, like universal pre-kindergarten. Biden needs the votes of all 50 Democrats in the Senate. Sens. Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema have slowed the progress of negotiations. Manchin said he supports means-tested programs and has said he wouldnt back free tuition community college for all students.

    In the short term, what free tuition advocates have to look forward to are concessions like an increase in the maximum Pell grants, which help low-income students attend college, and funding for HBCUs, Hispanic Serving Institutions , Minority Serving Institutions , and Tribal Colleges and Universities measures that matter, but dont send the same kind of clear, impactful message as free college. The administration will invest in community college workforce programs, industry training, and apprenticeships, according to the latest framework, though specific funding commitments are yet to be announced. On the broader education front, lawmakers also plan to expand preschool access for six years for 6 million children.

    With the rise in online learning, students have even tried to take classes using their phones, an obstacle that could be addressed with more Pell grant money, among others.

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