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Campaign for Free College Tuition Seeks to Ensure Greater Opportunity and a Stronger Economy

Posted by Ma•ca Pichler on November 19, 2014 at 12:29 PM

The Campaign for Free College Tuition will work on the federal, state and community level to make America’s public colleges and universities tuition free.

NEW HAVEN, CT – Today, the Campaign for Free College Tuition (CFCT) --freecollegenow.org -- launched with a mission to make public colleges and universities tuition free in all fifty states.  Formerly known as Redeeming America’s Promise, CFCT will support and advance state and community programs, as well as a federal plan, providing a tuition free college education to students across the country. 

CFCT’s bipartisan effort to eliminate cost as a barrier to college access will be chronicled on their new website, which has also been designed to highlight a robust collection of federal, state, and local programs seeking to address postsecondary access and affordability.  The constantly growing database of efforts across America, will allow CFCT to collaborate and partner with organizations, as well as with elected officials and the business community, towards shared goals.

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PromiseNet 2014

Posted by Ma•ca Pichler on November 15, 2014 at 12:00 PM

On Thursday, November 20th, The Campaign for Free College Tuition will participate in PromiseNET 2014. This conference gathers organizations that are committed to offering free college tuition for high school graduates in their communities, which means we’ll be surrounded with people who have the same goals as we do. 

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David Mann, Kalamazoo Promise Recipient

Posted by Ma•ca Pichler on November 11, 2014 at 8:15 AM

David Mann was born in raised in Kalamazoo, Michigan. His parents would have had a difficult time paying for college had he

Gregg_and_David_Football.jpg lived in any other city.

Now a Ferris State University sophomore and offensive tackle for the school’s football team, David’s family encouraged him to attend college and pursue his sports marketing dreams. But it wasn’t until the fall of 2005, when the Kalamazoo School District unveiled the Kalamazoo Promise, that that dream became a reality.

The Kalamazoo Promise is a pledge by the district to pay the college tuition for any graduate who got accepted at any of the state’s 59 colleges or universities. Made possible by a generous donation from a group of anonymous, local philanthropists, the Promise offered to pay 100% of tuition for students who went through its entire school system and a proportional amount for those who attended fewer grade.    

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The Middle Class Can’t Afford College, Either

Posted by Ma•ca Pichler on October 14, 2014 at 7:48 AM

If anyone needed further evidence that the inflationary rise in tuition is out of control, the latest analysis by Richard Fry of the Pew Research Center on the income levels of those borrowing to pay for college should convince any reasonable person that something has to be done about the problem before it eats away at the very foundations of our nation’s economy:

 Share of College Graduates from High-Income Families Who Borrow

Fully half of the students graduating in 2012 who came from high income families had borrowed to pay for part of their higher education, double the rate from 1993. Similarly, 62% of graduates from upper middle income families had borrowed money in 2012, up from only 34% two decades ago. Of course the rate of borrowing among lower middle income and lower income families was even higher, involving as many as three out of four graduates, but the increase among wealthier families meant that for the first time in American history a majority of ALL students from every income group graduating from college in 2012 had to borrow money to pay for an increasingly out of control rise in the price of higher education. What was a problem for just lower income families when Pell Grants were first created has now become a problem for all of America.

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100 Berkeleys

Posted by Ma•ca Pichler on October 01, 2014 at 9:57 AM

This is a guest blog by Bill Deresiewicz, New York Times Bestelling Author of "Excellent Sheep."

“So are you saying that we’re all just, like, really excellent sheep?” Those words came out of the mouth of one of my students at Yale. For me, the last two words summed up the dilemma of elite education as it has come to exist in America. The system manufactures students who are "excellent," yes—great at jumping through the hoops that we hold up—but also "sheep": incapable of finding their own direction in life once they've gotten to the end of the hoops.

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Tennessee Promise Shows How to Make Colleges Tuition Free

Posted by Ma•ca Pichler on September 17, 2014 at 12:33 PM

In an age of partisan gridlock and finger pointing, it is truly refreshing to learn about a politician who isn’t afraid to make bold bill-haslam.jpgpromises and keep them. The Republican Governor of Tennessee, Bill Haslam, took on the established higher education interests in his state to create the Tennessee Promise program that will make its 13 community colleges and 27 trade and technical schools tuition free starting this fall. To do so, he had to tackle critics from the left and right who were unwilling to give up their own ideological talking points to sign up for a program that will help the state close the skills gap that is currently hurting its economic growth.

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Planning for Free College Tuition: DC Summit Goals

Posted by Ma•ca Pichler on September 15, 2014 at 2:46 PM

Our organization has a mission that is ambitious but simple: to make free college tuition a reality for Americans across all fifty states. To that end, supporters met in Washington, DC, on Friday, September 12, 2014, to map out an action plan.

Joining the meeting were the honorable James Blanchard, former governor of Michigan, Michael Castle, former governor of Delaware and Congressman, and advocates such as Cryn Johannsen, expert on the student loan crisis, and RAP President Morley Winograd, author of several ground-breaking books on the millennial generation.

At the meeting, we affirmed our commitment to three goals:

1. By 2018, a majority of Americans agree strongly with the idea that college tuition should be free.

2. By 2018, the federal government has implemented a process to enable interested states to make their public colleges tuition free.

3. By 2018, at least three states are implementing plans to make all of their institutions of higher education tuition free.

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RAP Convenes in DC to Fight for Free College Tuition

Posted by Ma•ca Pichler on September 12, 2014 at 8:19 AM

The fight for free college tuition continues. And the Campaign for Free College Tuition is on the front lines.

That’s why on Friday our leadership team, endorsers, and volunteers will convene a Campaign for Free College Tuition Strategy Summit in Washington DC to review CFCT’s values and mission and to create detailed outlines and action plans of how to execute our strategies.  Our goal is clear: to tame the cost of college tuition and prevent further price increases that put a higher education out of the grasp of the majority of Americans.

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Three Strikes and You're Out

Posted by Ma•ca Pichler on September 03, 2014 at 12:45 PM

 In the latest apologia for the current system for financing higher education, The New Republic’s columnist and science editor, Dodger_Stadium_Video_Boards_2012_Renovation.pngJudith Shulevitz disputes the validity of three key critiques of higher education in order to prove that things aren’t really as bad as critics say they are. She whiffs on all three attempts, however, making the case for fundamental reform of our colleges and universities even stronger. First, she insists that “undergraduate education isn’t broken.” Yes, she concedes “administrators are more resistant to cost-cutting than they ought to be, given the popular outrage about tuition. And states are less willing to fund their own public universities than they used to be.” But she says higher education as an employer is in better shape than “newspapers,” which may provide some comfort to the faculty, but doesn’t even begin to address the criticism of parents of college students who are properly focused on the education their children are supposed to be getting for all the money they are paying for tuition.

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Public Colleges Can Be Tuition Free

Posted by Ma•ca Pichler on August 28, 2014 at 1:12 PM

Originally published on Care2's Education blog

“My lack of a college education hurt my kids. It’s a domino effect. It’s a downward spiral.” - Colleen Garlock

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The exciting prospect of going to college is all too often dampened by the reality of crushing debt, leaving many families unable to afford the higher education that is a necessary ticket to a middle class life.

Take, for example, the story of Colleen Garlock. A hard working mother of two, Garlock was unable to afford college, despite graduating as a top student. She’s determined to send her son, Anthony, to college, but they worry about the tremendous debt he’s about to accrue.

That’s why, when she stumbled across a new organization pushing for a far reaching solution to her families’ problem, she signed right up: “We can tell [my daughter] Katie, ‘we can send you to school and we can get you a car, or you can eat something more than ramen, or you can get married, and we can think of retirement.’” The intergenerational, bipartisan coalition, called The Campaign for Free College Tuition, is already making headlines with its bold idea that the federal government should provide “Promise” scholarships to any student accepted to college from a lower or middle income family. Its supporters include former governors, members of Congress and former Clinton administration officials.

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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.

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