Biden’s Not Giving Up On Free Community College

free community college

Biden says he hasn’t given up on the idea of free community college tuition, suggesting it may be an even better alternative to student loan cancellation.

After introducing his 2025 fiscal plan earlier this year which includes community college funding, the President said, “I also want to make community college tuition free so you don’t need loans at all”.

Biden has faced obstacle after obstacle in terms of student loan cancellation, but experts say his odds for free community college support are much better.

Of course, this isn’t the first time Biden has championed free community college. Initially, it was part of his Build Back Better plan in 2021 but was eventually cut from the budget.

The idea of free community college may be more popular this time around, not only among policymakers, but for prospective students too. Recent statistics point toward rising enrollment rates among two-year schools, including vocational schools and community colleges.

Many would-be university students seem to be disenchanted with the idea of a four-year degree. Some cite worries over job prospects in white-collar industries while others argue college costs have become prohibitive.

Related: Where to Find the Best Free Degrees in 2024

Community college is already free or very inexpensive in 35 states across the country, which could make the new federal initiative a moot point for many. And the trend is growing.

In Texas, for example, Austin Community College plans to waive tuition for the state’s new crop of high school graduates in the Fall. Minnesota just expanded its state-wide scholarship program to cover last-dollar costs for more students pursuing associate’s degrees and even non-degree certificates and diplomas.

Experts point toward New Mexico as the model of free community college. The state’s Opportunity Scholarship is hailed for its accessibility to adult learners and immigrants, even those who can only study part-time. It also pays for often-overlooked expenses like textbooks, housing, and even childcare for students who are also parents.

Related: Colleges Pivot to Attract Student Parents