Keeping up the retention rates in the educational sectors has become a challenge for the incumbent administration.
The unstable income of the families can translate into high drop-out rates of the students, the consequences of which could be faced in terms of a possible economic recession.
In order to tackle these crises, President Joe Biden proposed two years free community college in his American Family Plan that would help students continue their education in these trying times without any financial worry.
As Biden is in the flow of pursuing an automatic student loan forgiveness program as well, this would further help the students, giving them a bit of relaxation in the pandemic.
Community college enrollment witnessed a huge dip because of the COVID-19 situation. President Biden plans to make a once-in-a-generation investment to ensure a prosperous future for the upcoming generations.
The initiative may cost a $109 billion investment in the field of higher education that will ensure two years of free community college for the youth.
The captivating part is that the program will be equally available for DREAMers, so the discrimination is not likely to drive the program.
Free Community College: A Child of the American Families Plan
The federal government’s intervention in social development came into the limelight amid the COVID-19 crisis, as President Joe Biden announced the Infrastructure Plan and American Families Plan.
Two years Free community college is a “once-in-a-generation,” according to Biden, that is crucial to keep the proceedings goings in the upcoming times.
As a matter of fact, the high college drop-out rates due to the dwindling income could be detrimental to college retention rates.
In case of the absence of this plan, the unemployment rate in the near future could skyrocket. So, a two years free community college is necessary to streamline things.
The American Families Plan also includes investment in the educational sector in the form of:
- $109 billion for two years of a free community college education. This will help the student to acquire desired degrees and certificates without having to worry about educational expenses. Dreamers and workers could also be the beneficiaries of the plan to learn additional skills.
- $85 billion will be available for Pell Grants, as nearly seven million United States students depend upon Pell Grants these days. The maximum Pell Grant would be increased by $1400.
- $62 billion will be invested in grant programs that will help not to decrease college and university completion and retention rates. This grant will be given to states, tribes, and communities to spend on the education of the younger generation.
- $39 billion will be provided to subsidize the tuition fees of students whose families earn less than $125,000. This grant is specifically for those students that are enrolled in four-year degree programs.
The scholarship fund of future students will be doubled from $4,000 to $8,000 per year. The Biden Administration also plans to invest $400 million to train teachers who will serve minority institutions and $900 million to develop special education teachers.
Two Years Free Community College: Not a Walk in the Park:
While the plan remains verbal to date, the challenges to these types of federally subsidized programs remain high.
First of all, it needs to be passed as it is from the bifurcated Senate, which is a challenge in itself.
Secondly, treating higher and lower-income students equally may become a burden on the government.
Suppose the Biden administration can save some dollars from this program by not subsidizing well-paid families’ students. In that case, they can spend that money on subsidizing the student loans of university-level students.
Otherwise, if the administration wants to spend all of the money in community college, they can push for greater enrollment drives in the community college that can help more students in attaining the skills.
This two-year free community college program would be helpful for students of some states compared to others.
The educational expenses of the community colleges are greater in some states than the other states.
The results of being an educationist first lady in the White House are evident from the involvement of free community college programs in the American Families Plan.
However, the importance of students loans forgiveness can never be underestimated. Biden needs to pursue automatic student loan forgiveness with full ambition so that the university students can also get a sign of relief in these times.
Currently, students across the United States are under a collective debt of $1.7 trillion. So, an average student has to pay almost $37,000 to the educational facilities.
This will reduce the red-tapism include in the process, which authorizes the relevant authorities to delay the loan process.
It will forgive the loans of all the deserving students without delaying the process. The students would not need to complete the irrelevant paperwork, helping them evade the unnecessary formalities in the process.