Let the Sunshine In: It’s Time for States to Step Up their Support of Higher Education

Posted by Maica Pichler on May 19, 2015 at 9:19 AM

The good news is that revenues for most state governments are rising as the economy continues to recover from the Great Recession. The bad news is that most state governments are not devoting enough of their increasing revenues to restoring the draconian cuts they made in their higher education budgets in 2008-09. As we said in Step 3 of our plan to make all public colleges tuition free, the states must do their part to reduce the burden of rising tuition prices on American families if we are going to achieve our goal of tuition free college in all 50 states. 

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An Update from CFCT

Posted by Maica Pichler on April 01, 2015 at 7:44 AM

The Campaign for Free College Tuition’s (CFTC) recently held a very successful plenary meeting – and conference call for out-of-town participants – to consider the work of the taskforces that were formed at the conclusion of our Free College Summit in January. The discussions focused on finding common ground to build support for free tuition for community colleges. The taskforces were asked to develop answers to the following five questions:

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NDN Joins CFCT’s Bipartisan Coalition

Posted by Maica Pichler on March 12, 2015 at 6:40 AM

I am pleased to report that NDN, a leading think tank and advocacy organization based in Washington, DC, has joined CFCT’s bipartisan coalition to make college tuition free in all 50 states. As we work to educate parents, students, the higher education community, policy makers and taxpayers about efforts needed to reform fundamentally our nation’s broken system for financing the cost of higher education, NDN’s understanding of the millennial generation and their impact on the future of American politics will make them a valued partner. We firmly believe free college tuition is a goal that is supported by people of all political persuasions – as evidenced by President Obama’s America’s College Promise proposal and Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam’s Tennessee Promise program – and are proud to have both major parties represented in our leadership.

Simon Rosenberg, the President and Founder of NDN, stated “ensuring that America has a well-educated workforce that isn’t crippled by student loan debt is a bold cause that would have a positive benefit for all. I applaud CFCT’s historic commitment to free universal education by making public colleges tuition free in all 50 states.”

Please visit the NDN website to read their statement of support.

Listen to these ideas in more detail now!

Posted by Maica Pichler on March 11, 2015 at 1:27 PM

At the Campaign for Free College Tuition, we believe that the debate about college affordability shouldn’t be taking place behind closed doors. CFCT and our members care deeply about our nation’s direction, and that’s why on the evening of March 3, 2015, we hosted a conference call with President Obama's free community college point person, Under Secretary of Education Ted Mitchell, our very own Morley Winograd, CFCT President and former senior policy advisor to Vice President Gore, and supporters to discuss how we must ensure free college education for all Americans.

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Pell Institute’s Troubling Findings: Rising Inequality in Higher Education

Posted by Maica Pichler on February 27, 2015 at 12:00 PM

The Pell Institute for the Study of Opportunity in Higher Education recent report, Indicators of Higher Education Equity in the United States, has brought to light the past 45 years of growing inequality in our higher education system. The basics of the report:  since the 1980s, parallel to the phenomenon of sky rocketing price of tuition, state and local governments have reduced their spending on higher education, while Federal funding of Pell grants pays for an increasingly smaller share of the cost of attending college. Thus, the financial burden of paying for tuition have been increasingly placed on to American families to compensate for continued state and local government divestment of higher education.

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Tennessee's Task: Turn "Free Community College" From a Rallying Cry to Success

Posted by Maica Pichler on February 27, 2015 at 7:55 AM

This is an excerpt from a post by Eric Kelderman and The Chronicle of Higher Education. Read the full story here.

Amanda Raven Smith wants to go to college. But she doesn’t want to have the same experience as her father, who spent decades paying off student loans for a degree he couldn’t afford to finish.
"I had been planning on it," she said, "but didn’t have a way to do the funding."

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How to Make College Truly Affordable

Posted by Maica Pichler on February 09, 2015 at 11:33 AM

Bob Samuels is president of UC-AFT and a lecturer at UCSB. He is the author of seven books including Why Public Higher Education Should be Free. He writes the blog Changing Universities.

President Obama’s plan to make the first two years of community college free is a great first step in the larger movement to increase college access, affordability, and quality.  The president’s initiative will help to decrease the net cost of higher education for millions of students, and even if it does not get the support of Congress, the plan has already changed the public conversation about the future of higher education in the United States.

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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.

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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.” 

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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).  

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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.