The Free Two-Year College Movement — A Special/Mini Feature from (where the LLL stands for lifelong learning)


Given the importance of postsecondary credentials to succeeding in today’s labor market, access to and completion of two- and four-year degrees has become a high priority for higher education leaders, government officials and employers. In 2014, Tennessee launched the Tennessee Promise, which granted Tennesseans tuition-free access to two-year colleges in the state. Oregon, in 2015, passed a similar piece of legislation and President Obama made America’s College Promise—a national roll-out of this style of program—a hallmark of his State of the Union address.

While the program goes to great lengths to create unprecedented levels of access to higher education, the focus must turn to how colleges will manage life in this new reality and how the higher education marketplace will have to shift to adjust to this new level of access. This Feature focuses on those elements of the free two-year college movement.


From DSC:
From the original Kalamazoo Promise (which was generously/graciously put forth by a group of anonymous donors), many such “promise” programs have been developed — affecting programs all the way up to President Obama’s development of America’s College Promise. 

Colleges and universities would be wise to keep this potential trend on their radars, while preparing plans for what they would do if this trend picks up steam.