Results Show the Power of Promise

Posted by Morley Winograd on October 24, 2017 at 6:01 AM

While the school year is only several months old, there are already great results to report about programs making public colleges tuition free in Tennessee, Rhode Island, and New York. In Tennessee, data from the initial cohort of Tennessee Promise recipients shows that they are persisting in their community college careers at a rate 17 percent greater than those who do not have a TN Promise scholarship. Both Rhode Island and New York launched their Promise programs to make public colleges tuition free this Fall with very aggressive implementation schedules. In both states, initial participation data demonstrates the power of programs that make college tuition free.

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Starting and Completing College Is Important

Posted by Morley Winograd on September 28, 2017 at 10:15 AM

A collaborative post by Morley Winograd, Ted Kahn, Harris Miller, and David Wolf


America’s system of higher education is not meeting the needs of its students or our economy in terms of economic opportunity and growth. Those of us who believe ardently in its power to advance individuals, families and society want all aspects of the system, from enrollment to graduation, to work better.

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Get On Board: A Call to Governors

Posted by Maica Pichler on August 07, 2017 at 12:41 PM

Last week Rhode Island passed a budget and the fight for free tuition passed a major landmark: ten states now offer some form of free college tuition to their residents!

States offering such a benefit range from the very red, such as Kentucky, Arkansas and Tennessee to the very blue like New York, Hawaii and Oregon. In June, Nevada’s Republican Governor signed a bill making their community colleges tuition free after it unanimously passed the state’s Democratically controlled legislature. The bill includes a provision requiring each community college that offers free tuition to also provide a mentoring program similar to Tennessee’s ground-breaking public/private partnership that provides a low-cost way for states to offer that type of support.

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What’s a Bachelor’s Degree Worth?

Posted by Maica Pichler on July 11, 2017 at 1:08 PM

With the cost of higher education growing exponentially, a bachelor’s degree is no longer a requirement for many. Most young adults are being taught to view college as an investment in their future. While many programs exist to help lower and even negate the overwhelming cost of college, a college education still costs a substantial amount.

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Free College Becoming Reality for More People

Posted by Maica Pichler on June 28, 2017 at 7:47 AM

A 2013 report by Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce indicates that 30 percent of the job openings through 2020 will require some college or an associate’s degree. Unfortunately, many of these well-paying jobs will go unfilled as there is a critical shortage of skilled technical graduates at the two-year Associate's Degree and one-year certificate level in fields such as Electronics, Industrial Robotics, Healthcare, and Advanced Manufacturing Technology.

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To Promise Program Critics

Posted by Maica Pichler on April 26, 2017 at 6:55 AM

Major public policy changes, such as promise programs, which make public colleges tuition free, should be subject to scrutiny, criticism, and improvement. We at CFCT welcome them. But we implore critics to move out of their Ivory Towers, where they can create hypothetical problems 365 days of the year, and instead focus on the demonstrable operation and impact of promise programs. The critics are entitled to their own opinions. They are not entitled to their own facts.

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Testimony in Support of Rhode Island’s Promise

Posted by Maica Pichler on March 24, 2017 at 9:51 AM

It’s a simple fact that Rhode Island’s economic success depends on a highly educated and skilled workforce. But, with higher education tuition and fees continuing to rise and incomes stagnating for many lower and middle class Ocean State residents, the ability of thousands of families to afford the key to economic and social mobility for their children has been greatly diminished. ...

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Guest Post: Governor Raimondo’s Promise

Posted by Gina Raimondo on March 03, 2017 at 9:06 AM

Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo has announced a bold plan to provide two-years of college tuition-free for all Rhode Islanders. Her Rhode Island’s Promise proposal, when enacted, will provide either two-years of tuition-free community college for full-time students, or last dollar scholarships to make tuition free for junior and senior students at the state’s public four-year colleges. She writes in the following blog post, written at the request of the Campaign for Free College Tuition, “this policy will encourage both access and completion, ensuring that Rhode Islanders are earning their degrees without falling behind.”

We applaud Governor Raimondo and share her hope “that leaders across the country will follow Rhode Island’s example in designing free tuition policies that meet their local needs and reach all students.”


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Want to Fix Income Inequality in America?

Posted by Maica Pichler on February 22, 2017 at 10:05 AM

Then make college tuition free.

Higher education is the key to economic mobility in America. A recent study, with unprecedented access to individual and family incomes, has proven the case for this proposition beyond a reasonable doubt. The study confirms what families already know, and why paying for their children’s college education is a high priority topic of conversation at kitchen tables across America. Governors in states as diverse as New York, Rhode Island, Tennessee, and Oregon are addressing this challenge by leading efforts to make their colleges tuition free and winning wide public support from grateful constituents. Without waiting for the federal government to get its act together, these pioneering efforts are creating an unstoppable momentum in favor of each state adopting free college tuition as the solution to economic inequality and the source of a more skilled workforce for the entire country. 

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A Conversation with Incoming California Community Colleges Chancellor, Eloy Ortiz Oakley

Posted by Maica Pichler on December 20, 2016 at 9:30 AM

Eloy Ortiz Oakley, the new Chancellor for California’s Community College system, was interviewed recently by the Campaign for College Opportunity as he prepares to take office. As the instigator and spark that made the Long Beach Promise a reality, we thought his comments on how the idea of free community college tuition could be spread across the entire state would be of interest to our supporters. Remember, Chancellor Oakley’s ideas will be the governing policies for twenty percent of all community colleges students in the country in the coming years.

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We can't do this alone!

Our goal is to make higher education a possibility for every American, without regard to their financial circumstances.

We have a lot to do and not much time to do it, so your support is critical for our campaign to succeed. It’s with your investment that we can fundamentally reform how higher education is financed in this country, opening the doors to a more equitable society.

If you agree with our goal, our plan, and the urgency of the problem, we ask that you give what you can to help us write the next chapter in our nation’s history of continuously expanding access to universal, free education.

The Campaign for Free College Tuition is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization established in the State of Washington in 2014 to educate parents, students, the higher education community, policy makers and taxpayers about efforts needed to fundamentally reform our nation’s system for financing higher education. This website and CFCT’s educational outreach activities are made possible through generous individual and foundation support.