Community colleges are a special and important type of institution of higher education. Not only do they offer a variety of degree (two-year) and certificate programs, but they are also a bridge for those who wish to transfer to other four-year institutions later.
In 2015, these institutions became the center of a debate surrounding free public higher education when President Obama proposed the “American College Promise” program with the goal of making two years of community college free for students.
as set forth Time In 2015, the proposal was more than a partial solution to the student debt crisis, it also joined a community of thinkers who see community colleges as the best option for solving problems in the cost of higher education.
By reducing the financial burden on students by making community colleges free, there will be hope for generations to come in higher education. A survey was done last year by new america showed that 65% of current college students said that higher education was no longer meaningful, and for Latino students, the percentage was even higher at 71%.
For professor, sociologist and author Sarah Goldrick-Rabb — the next generation of college students are less likely to go because they’re genuinely afraid of debt. This would be the first time this happened, and we would start retreating.
He said, “There are people who say we did something wrong to scare them, but I think we are being honest.” “I don’t think we should fool people by saying that college will be free if they apply for financial aid, and they will only get loans.”
Goldrick-Rab makes sure to point out that community colleges no longer cost a few hundred dollars a year. For the 2021-22 school year, public community colleges charge approximately $5,155 per year for in-state students and $8,835 for out-of-state students.
In 2022, there were 935 public community colleges in the United States. In Pennsylvania, according to the Department of Education, there are currently 15 community colleges spread throughout the Commonwealth that receive local support by being responsible for the educational needs of their sponsoring areas.
Currently, community college student tuition accounts for only 20% of what these institutions spend on their educational activities. According to hechinger reportAbout 80% of public universities’ revenue comes from state and local funds.
For precisely this reason, Sarah Goldrick-Rabb affirmed that the past election worked well for the Biden administration, and that they are committed to making community colleges free.
“Most people probably don’t realize this, but in this last election, community colleges across the country were on the ballot because they get so much money at the local level,” he said.
For Goldrick-Raab, the people who talk about student loans the most aren’t necessarily the worst for it. Those who earned their bachelor’s degree are more likely to pay off their loans. However, many who are in debt right now went to for-profit or community colleges and didn’t get their degrees.
“They have debt and can’t pay it off, but they also have little political voice,” says Goldbrick.
Let us tell you that we have been here before. We started talking about free institutions in the late 19th century and it took us 80 years to achieve that. The decision changed the country, and in doing so brought innovation. Goldrich-Raab said that more than an individual investment, it was an investment in the country as a whole.
“If this country really wants to tackle debt and prevent it from happening, first and foremost it’s a matter of a college operating like a vote and run in two years,” he said.