Free community college tuition not on Biden’s agenda and four-year colleges to blame

“They want paying customers,” says Max Lubin, CEO of RISE, a group that runs student-led campaigns to reduce or eliminate the cost of attending college. If community college were free, some students would choose a community college over a four-year college. Competition would be particularly troublesome for for-profit colleges, which compete most directly for this population.

What about the four-year colleges that also function as community colleges by offering associate’s degrees? “They would rather get the Pell money,” Lubin said. “It’s free money. Then they can still increase the tuition fees. (Community colleges that participated in the free tuition program would be limited in the amount they could raise in tuition.) “Pell money” is Pell grant money, which is given to low-income students. returned. Biden’s Build Back Better plan was supposed to increase the maximum Pell Grant, currently $ 6,495, by $ 1,400, but that was reduced to $ 500. Biden hinted that the final bill might increase that a bit to partially offset the loss of the free community college.

The National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities has not lobbied against free community college tuition, according to its president, Barbara K. Mistick. But he didn’t push for it either. “Our efforts have been squarely focused on advocating for an increase in the Pell Grant, ”she told me via email. Mistick isn’t exactly excited about the free community college. She Recount The the Wall Street newspaper last week that it was an untested program that would require the creation of a new bureaucracy. “If you want to have the biggest impact, if you want to reach students in every sector, the Pell program would do it,” she told the Newspaper. “You don’t want to do something that’s going to take years.”

For four-year colleges, opposing a free community college can be foolish and foolish. Several people have pointed out to me that some of the students who acquire a free associate’s degree will transfer to four-year institutions; many of this group may never have attended university. Moreover, tuition fees at four-year colleges are so much higher than at community colleges that unless a four-year college gives the student in question a free ride (thus, in the eyes of Sununu, tempting said student to fool around), it’s an exaggeration to say that he competes with community colleges at all. (The average tuition fee at a four-year public college is $ 10,560 for in-state students and $ 27,020 for out-of-country students, and at a four-year private college it is $ 37,650.) T charge an arm and a leg for the community college was to receive surpluses that they could then have spent on their public colleges.

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