Biden’s Plan to Make Community College Tuition Free Could Help NW Students, Local Administrators Say
President Biden's call for free community college is an acknowledgment that workers need a postsecondary credential to meaningfully participate in the economy, CCRC Senior Research Scholar Davis Jenkins told Union-Bulletin.
Biden’s Plans to Expand Free Education May Be New for America. But in Other Countries, They’re the Norm.
During his April 28 speech, President Biden said his proposal to expand access to free community college will help the United States compete with the rest of the world. CCRC Director Thomas Brock told The Washington Post that America's community colleges are difficult to compare to other countries' higher education systems, though similarities can be drawn to higher education in Canada, Australia, and Britain, where financial aid is also used to offset high tuition.
The Wisconsin legislature is considering a bill that would allow the state's technical colleges to offer more associate degree programs. CCRC Senior Research Associate Maria Cormier told Higher Ed Dive that increasing access to two-year degrees could help meet the demand for lifelong learning opportunities.
Northwestern Connecticut Community College will join CCRC's summer institute on guided pathways. NCCC's local paper, The Litchfield County Times, celebrated the college's selection to the program.
Community college enrollment has been decreasing on Long Island for the last decade, and the pandemic accelerated the trend. CCRC Senior Research Scholar Davis Jenkins told Newsday that the declines are a reflection not only of COVID-19 but also of the importance of a four-year degree in communities like the New York City suburbs.
CCRC Director Thomas Brock discussed the alarming dip in community college enrollment, particularly among subpopulations of students including Black men, with CNBC. Because students can register for community college classes up until the semester begins, fall enrollment numbers will remain unclear for several more months.
Black Americans on average owe about 50% more in student debt after they graduate than their white peers, prompting some to calls for debt cancellation as an antiracist policy. CCRC Senior Research Scholar Judith Scott-Clayton told USA Today that the focus should be on helping students with the lowest levels of loan debt first because they often struggle the most to pay them off.
Although the number of students transferring from two- to four-year colleges went up this spring, transfer enrollment is down overall and across community colleges in particular. CCRC Senior Research Associate John Fink told Inside Higher Ed he is not surprised by the trend because bachelor's degrees are increasingly seen as offering the most secure path to a stable, resilient job.
Amid pandemic-related enrollment declines, community colleges across the country have innovated to better serve and retain students. In this Christian Science Monitor story, CCRC Director Thomas Brock explains how important the sector is to students' and communities' short- and long-term economic prospects.
President Biden's proposed $2 trillion infrastructure package includes $12 billion for states to upgrade community college facilities and technology. CCRC Director Tom Brock told Higher Ed Dive that the proposal likely meets or exceeds community college officials' expectations and emphasized that campuses need more funding for instruction and student supports.