A Promise Fulfilled: A Framework for Equitable Free College Programs

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The Education Trust

This report provides a framework for analyzing and pushing for equity-driven free college policy. The purpose is not to challenge the momentum around free college, but to understand how programs can be designed to advance opportunity and success for the students most challenged by the affordability crisis. Whereas poorly designed free college programs may fail to benefit students who are already disadvantaged by the current system, threaten to exacerbate existing inequities, and distract from significant affordability issues unrelated to tuition, well-designed programs could increase the ability of all students to pay for the full cost of attendance, without relying on student debt that they will struggle to repay.

free-college policy, disadvantaged students, minority students, academic achievement