The Promises of Kalamazoo

Posted by Dr. Rick Cole on November 09, 2018 at 9:59 AM

There seems, at times, to be no shortage of perceived obstructions to reaching the goal of universal free public-university education in America. From my perspective, among the most difficult obstructions to confront is covert opinion that higher education primarily serves a private, not a public, purpose.  From this private-interest notion flows the argument, and the public policy to enforce it, that since the ultimate beneficiary of education is the student the student should bear its cost through increased and increasingly burdensome tuition.

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Free College Tuition Rises to Top of Higher Ed Policy Ideas

Posted by Morley Winograd on October 02, 2018 at 12:51 PM

As midterm elections bring a heightened focus on politics across the country, the idea of making college tuition free continues to gain support, generating even more pointed push back from those wedded to the status quo. So, we thought you might like a quick update on some recent coverage that caught our eyes.

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States Should Place Their Bets on Free College Tuition

Posted by Morley Winograd on June 12, 2018 at 12:57 PM

By Morley Winograd and Harris Miller

Advocates of free college tuition are often challenged by the question: How do we pay for it? Twelve states and well over 200 local communities already have found an answer to that question and have such programs in place. But for those state leaders who realize they need a free college program to remain economically competitive, as well as to make sure their residents have the opportunity to obtain the skills necessary for a well-paying job, yet do not have a funding source, we now have a new answer – sports betting.

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2017 in Review: Momentum for Free College Tuition Continues to Build

Posted by Morley Winograd on December 18, 2017 at 6:24 AM

This has been a remarkable year of progress in our campaign to make college tuition free. As the year draws to a close, residents of eleven states, more than double the number we could claim at the beginning of the year, are now enjoying the benefits of free college tuition.

As a result, over 1 million students have enrolled in some form of a state Promise program this year, many of them the first in their family to do so. We plan on telling some of their stories in 2018 to help convince other states to jump on the free college tuition bandwagon. If someone you know was given a new opportunity in life thanks to a free college tuition program in their state, please encourage them to share their story with us so we can spread the word and help bring similar support to other students.

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Guest Post: Chancellor Oakley on California's AB19 Promise

Posted by Eloy Ortiz Oakley on November 15, 2017 at 8:49 AM

Governor Jerry Brown’s signature of AB 19 in October 2017 lays the groundwork for the California College Promise in the nation’s most populated state. Once funded in 2018, it will become the nation’s only first-dollar state-funded Promise program and provide one year of support to first-time full-time community college students.

In addition to aiding students with tuition/fees, the Promise aims to promote successful outcomes. To this end, participating community colleges must partner with local school districts and/or four-year universities to establish an Early Commitment to College Program that will provide student, and their families, assistance in learning about postsecondary opportunities, completing college prep courses, and applying for college and financial aid. 

We are very happy to share with you the following guest post from California Community Colleges Chancellor Eloy Oakley, who worked tirelessly with Assembly Member Miguel Santiago and other legislators on this important legislative framework. As he notes, “while more work needs to be done, we are all on our way.”  Chancellor Oakley, CFCT stands with you in removing cost as a barrier to attending college.


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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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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.