Biden Pushes for Free Community College in Budget
Editor & Writer
Editor & Writer
- President Joe Biden's budget includes a $500 million grant program to provide two years of free community college.
- Those grants will go toward students
enrolled in high-quality programs that lead to a four-year degree or a good-paying job,according to the budget.
- The budget also includes $90 billion in free community college investments over the next decade.
President Joe Biden renewed his push for free community college in his fiscal year 2024 budget, proposing a $500 million grant program to provide two years of free community college.
The $500 million grant program would provide two years of community college for students
enrolled in high-quality programs that lead to a four-year degree or a good-paying job, according to Biden's budget. The budget calls for just over $90 billion to fund free community college over the next decade.
Biden's budget also includes a $335 million investment in registered apprenticeship programs in a bid to boost workforce development, and includes $100 million — a $35 million year-over-year increase — to help community colleges build out workforce training programs.
American Association of Community Colleges President and CEO Walter G. Bumphus called the proposed investments
a strong indicator of the value that the Biden administration places on community college education.
These investments in the nation's community colleges will pay dividends in a more-educated citizenry that is able to earn the skills and advanced education needed to fill critical jobs without crushing debt, Bumphus said in the statement.
It will benefit communities, local businesses, and most importantly, students.
More than 30 states have already enacted some form of free community college program, BestColleges previously reported. Additional states, including Massachusetts and Maine, are also eyeing free community college programs in 2023.
First lady Dr. Jill Biden visited Mesa Community College in Arizona earlier this year to promote its Mesa College Promise program, BestColleges previously reported. That program covers two years of tuition and fees for eligible Mesa high school students. Similar programs have been enacted by state and local governments across the country in recent years, BestColleges reported.
Dr. Biden, an educator and community college professor who championed the last-dollar College Promise scholarships during her tenure as second lady, urged more communities to follow Mesa's path during that February visit.
Two years ago, my husband, President Biden, made a promise to rebuild the middle class, she said.
And you know what does exactly that? Community colleges.