Beyond Tuition

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Center for American Progress

More than 50 years ago, President Lyndon Johnson took the stage at what was then known as Southwest Texas State College to sign the first Higher Education Act. “To thousands of young men and women, this act means the path of knowledge is open to all that have the determination to walk it,” Johnson declared. Unfortunately, today, President Johnson’s promise is broken. Nationally, less than half of adults between the ages of 25 and 34 have at least an associate degree, and only 35 percent of black and 28 percent of Latino Americans have achieved this milestone. A low-income student is four times less likely to earn a bachelor’s degree than their wealthier peers. Similarly, students with disabilities earn bachelor’s degrees at less than half the rate of adults without disabilities. It is a proposal to restore the promise of an affordable higher education for all and to reduce the burden of student debt. It also includes an emphasis on addressing widespread inequity in opportunity and outcomes.

low-income students, minority students, first-generation college students, equity in higher education