This week my colleague Kate Davidson did a story on the governor of Tennessee wanting to make community college or technical school free for all high school graduates. If the proposal goes through, Tennessee will be the only state to offer associate’s and technical degrees for free.
In an interview with Marketplace, David Baime with the American Association of Community Colleges said that this measure may make more students want to enroll in community and technical colleges.
"So when a message is sent out loudly and clearly that for qualified students community college is free," says Baime, "We think that it could make a big difference in terms of people's willingness to enroll in our institutions."
What Governor Haslam is proposing is not a new concept. California provided free junior college for years and the City University of New York didn’t charge fees until the 1970s.
The recent buzz around this issue got us thinking. Should students have to pay for community college?
We asked the question on Twitter and here’s what you told us:
— Joanne Reiter (@JoanneReiter) February 5, 2014
— Ja'Net Adams Speaker (@JaNetAdamsSpeak) February 5, 2014
— Erik Newcome (@ErikNewcome) February 6, 2014
— Brian Ecker (@Brian_Ecker) February 6, 2014
@MPWealthPoverty The revenue hit should instead be put to increase completion rates and subsidize loans.
— Jason Inofuentes (@tnofuentes) February 6, 2014
@MPWealthPoverty Yes!!!! Responsiblity!!!!!
— Jennifer Heffner (@writewitch) February 6, 2014