3 Ideas To Make College (Mostly) Free

Career College Central summary:

  • Oregon wants 80 percent of its adults to hold a college degree or postsecondary certificate by 2025. To meet that goal, lawmakers are focused on making college more affordable—whether that means increasing funding after years of budget cuts or rethinking tuition payments altogether. Here are three ideas kicking around the state Legislature that would make college free, or much cheaper, for Oregon's increasingly diverse student population.
  • 1) "PAY IT FORWARD" — One proposal would allow students to attend public two- and four-year colleges at no upfront cost—so long as they committed upfront to pay their alma mater or the state a fixed portion of their post-graduation salaries. Under the plan's initial outline, the typical four-year student would pay about 3 percent of her annual income to her alma mater for 20 to 25 years.
  • 2) FREE COMMUNITY COLLEGE — State Sen. Mark Hass has proposed that Oregon should pay for all qualified students to attend community college for two years. Students seeking an associate's degree, those pursuing an industry credential, and students wanting to earn credits before transferring to a four-year university would benefit. Hass argues that although the proposal could cost about $250 million per year, paying for education that prepares students for better jobs will save the state money over the long run.
  • 3) REQUIRING ALL STUDENTS TO EARN COLLEGE CREDITS — Last spring, lawmakers considered requiring all high school students to earn about nine college credits before graduation but balked at the $1 billion such a requirement would cost. A committee is looking into other ways of expanding opportunities for teens to earn credits while in high school, and it will report back to the Legislature in October 2014.

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