High school seniors in Oregon are getting a graduation present from their state leaders that’s just too big to fit into an envelope.
Oregon is currently poised to become the second state to offer two years of free community college by providing a minimum $1,000 grant for each student, which can be used for books and other expenses in addition to tuition. Tennessee was the first state to launch a similar plan last year.
Officials hope that the bill will increase both high school graduation rates and college enrollment rates.
“This bill will benefit low and moderate-income students in real and measurable ways,” Sara Robb, a professor of sociology and education policy studies, said in testimony for the bill. “It will boost their persistence and may also increase their graduation rates.”
Pennsylvania, Illinois, Minnesota and Washington, DC, are also considering pilot projects at some of their community colleges. But so far, only Tennessee and Oregon have expanded two years of free higher education to their statewide community college systems.
Governor Kate Brown plans to sign the bill lawmakers passed this week.
(READ more at Inside Higher Education) – Photo: CollegeDegrees360, CC