Welcome to The CITE -- a blog on Course materials, Innovation, and Technology in Education, created by Mark Nelson and now part of the Publications Department of the National Association of College Stores. CITE is a pun with multiple meanings - referring to cite as in citation, something people reference; site as in location, website, or place people go to; and sight as in foresight or looking ahead to what is coming. Comments, discussion, feedback and ideas are welcome.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

If CC Tuition was Free, Many Would Go

With a number of groups supporting the concept of free community college tuition for students, they might reconsider once they find out just how many students would opt for that.

The 2016 Workforce Readiness Survey conducted by McGraw-Hill Education found that 62% of college students would have chosen to attend community college first or instead of a university if there was no cost for tuition. Apparently students felt they couldn’t pass up a deal like that.

The same survey also revealed that 60% of students don’t think their current school has been all that helpful in getting them ready for a career. That belief may have prompted survey respondents to think more favorably of community colleges, which are more focused on specific job preparedness.

At the state level, legislators are grappling with the idea of a free community college education and how to fund it.

A new report produced by the Education Commission of the States examines financial aid, including state legislation concerning free community college tuition. The report noted that as of July 2016, Oregon, Minnesota, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Rhode Island had enacted some type of legislation and bills were pending in California, Illinois, North Carolina, New York, and Massachusetts. Eleven other states had introduced measures on free community college, but the bills stalled out.

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