Report on Funding Free College Programs

December 13, 2018

A new report from the Century Foundation addresses how states can measure the impact increases in enrollment may have on free college programs and how to deal with increased costs for those programs without restricting admissions.

The report authors found that free college programs increase enrollment by up to 25 percent. Federal and state policy makers could create more sustainable programs by projecting future enrollment demands and comparing the effects of other free college programs, according to the report.

"Those enrollment effects will then need to be contextualized within broader demographic, social and economic trends of either the state implementing the program or for federal efforts, the national picture," the report says. A state with a healthy economy, especially in fields that don't require a college degree, may expect little demand for a free college program, for example.

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