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It is one of the most debated topics in America at this time. One of the most pregnant questions surrounds the possibility of making community college free of tax for everyone. In the past, such a regulation seemed to be impossible to implement and apply, yet several important steps in this direction have already been taken. Two of the most expensive places to study in America, the states of New York and California, are offering four-year free community college programs that cover the entire cost for students that will enroll for a full-time studying, maintain passing grades, and work in the same state for the whole period of attending college.

Why College Should Be Free

Tuition-free Community College: Pros And Cons

While the advantages of making community college free are obvious for a large part of the US population, especially for those who cannot normally afford the costs of higher education, there are also those who oppose the idea forecasting a negative impact on the US economy. This is an extremely delicate matter and in order to determine whether the community college should or should not be free, an in-depth analysis of the current education level in America is necessary.

Nowadays, the cost of attending a public college is simply too high for all students to be able to afford it. As a direct consequence, a lot of students coming from families with lower income are unable to continue their education through college unlike students coming from families with a high income. Subsequently, the level of loans contracted by students unable to afford college is increasing from one year to another.

More than 70% of the US students need to apply for financial aid in order to be able to continue their education.

Statistics show that over $80 billion are being spent each year by the Federal Government in this direction, which means that more than 70% of the US students need to apply for financial aid in order to be able to continue their education. Making community college free would definitely benefit this large sector of the population yet there are also those who argue that this possibility should not be available to everyone, as it would considerably unbalance the current US economy.

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Free Community College Programs And Conditions

The programs that already offer tuition-free community college do have certain criteria that their applicants have to meet in order to be able to enroll. In Rhode Island, for example, applying students have to maintain a GPA of 2.5 and also remain enrolled full-time in order to benefit from the free community college. At the same time, they also need to reside in the same city where they attend college as well as work and continue their education there afterwards.

In Tennessee, starting with 2018, all applying students who have been residents of the state for over a year will qualify. Afterwards, they have to maintain a GPA of 2.0 and enroll part-time at least. In New York, students coming from families with an annual income higher than $125.000 will be unable to apply. In addition to this, only full-time enrolled students that will live in New York for the entire period of their scholarship can qualify. In Oregon, only students that have resided there for over a year and that maintain a GPA of 2,5 will be able to apply.

The Future Possibility Of Free Community College

With these requirements in place and several possible changes to be implemented by the Federal Government for funding purposes, economists agree that free community college is a definite possibility within the entire US. So far, four states and one city have already taken the steps forward in this direction, and the positive impact registered is a sign that in the near future, the possibility of implementing free college at a nationwide scale might actually become a reality.

anabel cooper

Anabel Cooper