California Plans to Offer Free Community College for First-Year Students
On Friday, Gov. Jerry Brown upped the ante.
That could mean about $1,100 in savings for prospective students, based on the $46 charged per credit and a full 24-credit year of school.
The new law, which expands a similar measure for low-income families, would apply only to first-year students who live in California.
The initiative isn’t a done deal quite yet. As the Los Angeles Times reports, the state will have to find room in its budget for the estimated $31.1 million proposal.
But it does dovetail with burgeoning support for similar policies across the country.
California’s Community Colleges Are Following a National Trend
According to a September poll conducted on behalf of the Campaign for Free College Tuition, 47% of respondents supported state programs providing free tuition. That’s up from December 2016, when a survey that asked the same question found only 35% supported those programs.
And California isn’t the first state to expand free college tuition offerings.
California’s move to expand access to community college could help combat a nagging problem in the U.S. labor force. More than 6 million jobs openings are going unfilled each month even though more people than that are looking for work.
As we’ve said before, community colleges are a great way to get the skills you need to reenter the workforce and match with a potential employer.
And for California residents, that could soon get cheaper.
Alex Mahadevan is a data journalist at The Penny Hoarder.