It seems that the Northam administration is poised to propose actions that will address two of the concerns expressed in this blog—lessen the cost of higher education and help the middle class In the tradition of well-timed leaks on budget proposals, the RTD reports today that the administration is considering some form of a tuition-free program for community colleges.
Although no final details are yet publicly available and those details are likely still being thrashed out in the budget development process, the basic outline seems clear. For low-income and middle-income students, the state would cover the difference between the total cost of tuition and any available federal aid. There would probably be some conditions attached to such assistance, such as the student committing to work in a public-sector job or in a “high-priority” field.
Such a plan could be a huge boost for low- and middle-income students. Community colleges already offer a relatively low-cost path to completing two years toward a four-year college degree or earning a two-year technical degree or credential. The proposal being considered would enable those students to accomplish those goals debt-free.
It will come at a cost to the state. The State Council of Higher Education in Virginia is requesting $50 million for the upcoming biennium to support increasing student access and affordability at community colleges.There are currently no comments highlighted.