Public Higher Education Should be Universal & Free: A Discussion with Sara Goldrick-Rab

Posted by Maica Pichler on November 22, 2016 at 8:27 AM

Sara Goldrick-Rab, one of the most influential and articulate advocates for the cause of free college tuition, was recently asked to debate the idea that public higher education should be universal and free at a conference at the State University of New York. We found her argument to be so well presented that we have created a short video excerpt from the debate, which we think everyone in favor of free college tuition should watch. You can view it here.

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Free College Is the Best Investment We Can Make in Our Country’s Future Economic Success

Posted by Maica Pichler on October 20, 2016 at 12:23 PM

Today’s global economy rewards nations with the most educated workforces. We saw the benefits of expanding access to free college in the second half of the 20th century when the GI Bill of Rights and then the Higher Education Act of 1965 were enacted to further encourage college enrollment. That investment in our veterans and others ready to contribute to our nation’s defense established the educational foundation for the rapid expansion of America’s middle class after 1950 and was worth every penny that the government spent on the program.

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State Costs for Making College Tuition Free Examined in New Study

Posted by Maica Pichler on September 30, 2016 at 11:42 AM

The Campaign for Free College Tuition released a report detailing the estimated cost to each state of making their public colleges and universities tuition free.  The research authored by Mark Schneider, Vice President and Institute Fellow at the American Institute for Research (AIR) and made possible by a generous grant from the ECMC Foundation, establishes a baseline for state policymakers to discuss appropriations and the eventual return that they might expect on such an investment. 

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Higher Education Policy Leaders Need to Embrace the Inevitability of Free College Tuition

Posted by Maica Pichler on August 17, 2016 at 12:32 PM

Ever since Hillary Clinton’s campaign endorsed the idea of free college tuition for America’s middle class and debt free college for everyone, many leaders in the higher education community have begun circling their wagons to protect their current world. Almost two-thirds of all Americans and just about three-fourths of Democrats and Independents support the idea of free public college tuition according to CFCT’s latest survey research.  However, it is just starting to become clear to the higher education establishment that political imperatives, economic necessity, and demographic destiny make the arrival of the disruptive force of free college tuition in their world inevitable.

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Posted by Maica Pichler on August 14, 2016 at 8:29 PM

Sixty-billion dollars for free community-college tuition will undoubtedly be a tough sell to a Republican-controlled Congress. But in statehouses and city halls around the country, advocates for free tuition are hoping that the national discussion the president’s proposal has unleashed will help them make the case that government-funded education should extend beyond 12th grade to include two years of college.

Originally published in The Chronicle for Higher Education. Read the full article by Katherine Mangan here.

Two of those programs, in Tennessee and Chicago, are familiar to anyone who’s been following the debate thundering around the proposal President Obama promoted in Tuesday’s State of the Union address. His plan, which Republican leaders have already denounced and many presidents of two-year colleges have cheered, calls on the federal government to cover three-quarters of students’ tuition costs, with states providing the rest. The proposal is largely modeled on a plan in Tennessee known as the Tennessee Promise. Mr. Obama also cited Chicago’s version of the idea as evidence that if a Republican governor and Democratic mayor could agree on an approach, a bitterly divided Congress could as well.

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A Historic Moment in the Movement

Posted by Maica Pichler on June 29, 2016 at 7:02 AM

“When the history of the 21st century is written, the chapter on how college came to be tuition free will mark this conference as an important historical moment because it was the first time a group of this size (about one hundred) and quality came together not to debate whether colleges should be tuition free but to talk about HOW to make it free.”

-Morley Winograd CFCT President, closing comments at Designing Sustainable Funding for Promise Initiatives conference.

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Promise Programs Key to Improving States’ Workforce Skills

Posted by Maica Pichler on June 16, 2016 at 8:06 AM

Over one hundred leading higher education policy influencers gathered last week at Educational Testing Service, ETS, headquarters in Princeton, NJ to discuss ways to provide Promise Programs with sustainable funding sources, whether from the public or private sector.  Joining ETS in sponsoring the conference was the America’s College Promise Campaign led by Martha Kanter, former U.S. Under Secretary for Education and prior to that, Chancellor of the Foothill-De Anza Community College District in California.


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Two Problems, One Solution

Posted by Maica Pichler on June 01, 2016 at 7:14 AM

All across the country proud parents are celebrating their children taking the next step along the path of their educational progress from primary school to high school and hopefully from there to college graduation.  But the overall data on academic performance suggests our current system of education is not serving students and their families well.  It is increasingly clear that unless something is done to fundamentally transform the way we finance higher education and prepare students for success in that increasingly critical experience, we are putting in jeopardy not only their future, but our country’s as well.

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An Open Letter to 2016 College Graduates

Posted by Maica Pichler on May 11, 2016 at 8:00 AM

Dear 2016 Graduate,

Congratulations!  As you enter the workforce, your friends at the Campaign for Free College Tuition would like to share with you some good – and some not so good news.  First and foremost, your college degree is not only a proud achievement for you and your family, it is worth about $830,000 over a high school diploma and is still the most reliable pathway to the middle class or higher.  While we all have struggled at some time during our careers – and you will too – a college education has opened doors and changed our lives for the better.

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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.