Working Paper on Free Community College

Working Paper: Making Free Community College a Reality

Community college should be free for all, and the rollout process should begin immediately. Governor Deval Patrick has endorsed free community college as a goal, and his Readiness Commission reaffirmed that commitment. Yet neither has proposed concrete steps to achieve the objective.

This report explains why community college should be free, assesses the costs of implementing such a plan, and proposes steps to make that happen, not in some distant future, but beginning next year. Our initial goal is to introduce free community college but later we seek to make the first two years of public higher education free at state colleges and the University of Massachusetts. Soon thereafter the intent is to make all Massachusetts public higher education free – just as high school is free.