According to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), nearly 70% of all jobs will require some type of post-secondary training, certificate, or degree by 2020. With this in mind, President Obama and several states have proposed programs to provide low and no-cost tuition for community colleges.
Earlier this year, President Obama proposed making two years of community college free, which could save students an average of $3,800 in tuition. His proposal would create a federal-state partnership that increases federal funding to pay 75% of the average community college tuition and require states to cover the remaining 25%. President Obama’s proposal has been modeled after recent state legislation. Tennessee created a free community college program in 2014 and Oregon’s legislature recently passed a bill to study the viability and costs of providing free community college to its residents.
State legislators continue to focus on providing opportunities and access of all citizens to post-secondary opportunities. Almost every state offers and supports programs that help students earn college credits while in high school. These programs are offered at almost no cost and reduce the cost and encourage completion of earning a post-secondary credential.
For more information, see NCSL.