Officials Question Free 2-Year College Plan in MN

Officials Question Free 2-Year College in MN

Some higher education officials are questioning whether a plan from Minnesota Senate Democrats to make two-year colleges free would be worth the cost.

Minnesota Public Radio News reports qualms include whether the proposal would bolster the state’s workforce and benefit low-income students trying to finish college.

Critics say many of those students already have grants that cover tuition and fees, and that the plan wouldn’t pay for other expenses.

University of Minnesota professor David Weerts, who studies higher-education finance, says free tuition is “sort of a blunt policy instrument” which might take more investment than what’s actually needed.

MPR News calculates the plan could cost $78 million to $106 million over the next two years, depending on enrollment.

It would help about 30 percent of the projected 85,000 students in that period at two-year schools in the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system.

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