Tennessee Promise: A Brief History

Posted by Maica Pichler on February 05, 2015 at 6:07 AM

As student debt continues to climb while higher education becomes increasingly vital, yet less accessible for working families, states and localities are beginning to look for new ways to prioritize college affordability. Over the past decade, several communities have established postsecondary opportunity programs—frequently referred to as “promise programs”—that offer a combination of college funding and support services to their residents.

Read more

Kalamazoo Delivers on Its Promise

Posted by Maica Pichler on January 20, 2015 at 8:45 AM

The single biggest challenge in equalizing economic opportunity in America has been finding a way to bring the educational performance of urban students up to the level of those attending school in the suburbs.  The latest research on the Kalamazoo Promise, which inspired our Campaign originally, suggests the key to meeting this challenge is to enact programs such as theirs to provide a guaranteed free college education for everyone in America.

The first-ever comparison of post-secondary outcomes for Kalamazoo-area public high schools compiled by the Kalamazoo Gazette shows graduates from Kalamazoo Public Schools are outperforming many of their peers across the region when it comes to college enrollment AND completion of the first year of college. Michelle Miller-Adams, who has written a book about the Kalamazoo Promise and conducted extensive research on its outcomes for the Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, says the results “provide strong evidence that removing the financial barrier to college works in raising post-secondary outcomes.” 

Read more

Campaign for Free College Tuition Applauds President's Proposal to Make College Tuition Free

Posted by Maica Pichler on January 08, 2015 at 4:07 PM

WASHINGTON, DC – The Campaign for Free College Tuition (CFCT) applauds President Obama’s initiative to make community colleges tuition free in partnership with state governments.  

“The President’s plan would transform the nation’s higher education system, and help countless families make the American Dream a reality for their children. For many, it could cut the cost of a four-year college degree in half.  The plan deserves, and should get, bipartisan support,” stated Morley Winograd, the President of the Campaign for Free College Tuition (CFCT).  

Read more

California’s Tuition Fight

Posted by Maica Pichler on December 09, 2014 at 12:08 PM

If anyone needed proof that the escalating price of college tuition will be a topic of great and heated debate in America, the recent showdown between the Governor of California, newly re-elected Jerry Brown, and the new President of the University of California system,  Janet Napolitano, should be evidence enough.

Read more

If Yale Can Be Free...

Posted by Maica Pichler on November 25, 2014 at 3:00 PM

Can Yale -- the formidable pillar of American higher education -- provide education to its students free of charge? Yale senior Eric Stern thinks so. Writing in the Yale Herald, Stern profiles Berea College in Kentucky, a school that offers free tuition to its 1,600 undergraduate students. Extrapolating Berea’s tuition model, and applying it to the vast endowment of Yale, Stern argues persuasively that his Ivy League alma mater can implement the same for its student body. Even applying conservative constraints onto Yale’s finances, the verdict remains clear: every Yale student could attend for free.


Read more

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

Posted by Maica 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) -- 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.

Read more

PromiseNet 2014

Posted by Maica 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. 

Read more

David Mann, Kalamazoo Promise Recipient

Posted by Maica 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.    

Read more

The Middle Class Can’t Afford College, Either

Posted by Maica 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.

Read more

100 Berkeleys

Posted by Maica 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.

Read more

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.