Biden Proposes Free Community College


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Biden proposes free community college.

Tomas Sanchez Jurado, Reporter

On Wednesday, President Biden proposed a $109 billion dollar plan for a free 2 year college program for all youth in America. The plan comes as part of a tremendous spending package that Biden is calling on Congress to approve. If it is approved Biden’s plan would free 5.5 million students from paying tuition or fees.

Also included in the package is a $62 billion dollar plan for programs to increase college retention and completion rates at institutions, particularly community colleges that have high numbers of low-income students.

25 states including Arkansas, Minnesota, Montana, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Indiana and Oregon, have already commence statewide free community college programs. Even more states were expected to follow before the COVID-19 pandemic hit and put a severe economic strain on state and local budgets.

The Biden-Harris administration said in a statement on Wednesday that Biden will “Invest in community colleges and training to improve student success and grow a stronger, more prosperous, and more inclusive middle class.” They will also “Strengthen college as the reliable pathway to the middle class, not an investment that provides limited returns and leaves graduates with mountains of debt they can’t afford.”

The news come at a time when millions of Americans are struggling due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The resulting job losses and economic crisis forced many families to admit they cannot afford college. One-quarter of last year’s high-school graduates delayed their college plans, according to a survey from Junior Achievement and Citizens, largely because their parents or guardians were unable to provide financial support.

These days, middle class community college students are older, come from lower-income and are often balancing work, children, and other obligations. The cost of a single year of a private college averages $46,950 compared to an average of $4,846 for a year of community college. If Biden’s plan is enacted it would significantly help middle class communities.