State dials back on poorly designed free community college plan

That would be the State of Kentucky, here. Meanwhile, here in Oregon, the state legislature is on the way to expanding its poorly designed free community college plan.

The technical term is “lose-lose”. Saul Hubbard has an excellent story on the results of Oregon State Senator Mark Haas’s experiment: free community college tuition regardless of how rich you are – in the RG here:

-More grant recipients than the state expected come from well-off and middle class families. That reduces the amount of federal aid they receive, driving up the share of their tuition the state must pony up. Over 30 percent of “Promise” funds are going to students coming, for example, from a household with two kids and a gross income of $110,000 a year or more.

– African-American, Latino, and Native American students are all statistically underrepresented in grant receipt, compared to the respective shares of Oregon’s high school population they make up.

The only ethnic group that’s overrepresented, slightly, in this year’s crop? Non-Hispanic whites.

Oregon’s seven public universities, which saw a slight dip in in-state enrollment this year, are pointing to some of those problems and calling for the state to scrap the “Oregon Promise” next year.

The universities argue that the money would be better sent directly to them and to community colleges to hold down tuition increases, or redirected to the existing Oregon Opportunity Grant program, which provides financial aid exclusively to low-income students at universities and community colleges.

But Sen. Mark Hass, the Tualatin Democrat who led the charge to create the “Oregon Promise” in 2015, is bullish on its future. …

Next year’s story will be on how few of those students are still in school, given community colleges low retention and transfer rates.

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2 Responses to State dials back on poorly designed free community college plan

  1. Salty says:

    “The universities argue that the money would be better sent directly to them…”
    For administrative bloat, BLM demands, or to make up the salaries for women that can’t negotiate?

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: +1 (from 5 votes)

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