Free College

In 2015 President Obama said that community college should be ‘as free and universal in America as high school.’ Community college is crucial for working families and communities of color to progress. But there are still too many barriers to accessing community college. Too many students cannot afford college or meet their educational goals.

Free college is very popular. Polling shows that there is support for free college tuition across the political spectrum. According to the Campaign for Free College Tuition “88 percent of Democrats, 62 percent of Republicans, and 76 percent of Independents” strongly support or somewhat support the idea.

Chart Source: Campaign for Free College Tuition

Free college in Washington would also advance racial and economic equity. Our community colleges are much more diverse than the state as a whole. Community colleges remain one of the main pathways to social and economic advancement for low-income communities and communities of color. Free college is an investment in racial equity and justice.

Free college pays for itself. Free college now is an investment in the future that reaps rewards for the state and our communities in the future. According to the report The Dollars and Sense of Free College by the  Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, “[The] benefits would outweigh the costs of tuition-free-college programs, with yearly tax revenue exceeding the annual cost within the first 10 years after a tuition-free program is implemented.”