Is free community college a good idea?

Rows of empty seats in a college classroom setting.
Rows of empty seats in a college classroom setting.
Photo by Pixabay via Pexels

In April, President Joe Biden announced his plan for letting Americans attend community college for free. The proposal — part of his $1.8 trillion American Families Plan — would waive tuition for two years of public community college and give qualified students more cash to cover living expenses.

Almost immediately, it ran into opposition. If successful, it could make college accessible to students from low-income families. But critics say it could also be a faux fix that shovels more taxpayer money into a system that some say chronically underperforms.

Host Kerri Miller got two takes on Biden’s plan Wednesday morning. Is free community college the best way to help under-resourced students get ahead?

Guests:

  • Beth Akers is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), where she focuses on the economics of higher education.

  • Joshua Wyner is founder and executive director of the College Excellence Program at the Aspen Institute.

To listen to the full conversation you can use the audio player above.

Subscribe to the MPR News with Kerri Miller podcast on: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify or RSS

Your support matters.

You make MPR News possible. Individual donations are behind the clarity in coverage from our reporters across the state, stories that connect us, and conversations that provide perspectives. Help ensure MPR remains a resource that brings Minnesotans together.