Benefits of Free Community College Tuition Far Outweigh Costs
Maryland Association of Community Colleges Supports Obama Plan for Free Community College
Annapolis, MD, January 9, 2015 - The Maryland Association of Community Colleges (MACC) strongly supports expanding access to postsecondary education for Marylanders and Americans, as expressed in President Obama’s initiative announced January 9. The President’s bold announcement elevates dialogue on this critical issue to the national arena, and encourages collaboration between state and federal agencies in addressing the widening skills gap and its dragging effect on the economy.
“The fact that 80% of all future jobs in Maryland will need workers with the education levels that community colleges provide, coupled with economists’ assertions that high student debt levels can limit local economic growth, mean that it is time for new approaches to developing Maryland’s 21st century workforce,” said Dr. Bernie Sadusky, Executive Director of Maryland Association of Community Colleges. “Community colleges are uniquely positioned to meet this challenge.”
Moreover, MACC is ready to work with state and federal agencies to design a free post-secondary tuition program that would achieve state and national educational and workforce development goals.
Robust tuition programs have recently been developed in New Jersey, Florida, Chicago, and Tennessee. These programs motivate students to do well in high school, remove barriers to attending full time, include funding for both credit and non-credit programs, and can expedite entrance to the middle class via access to well-paying career options.
About Maryland Association of Community Colleges
At 16 Maryland community colleges, 23 campuses and more than 1000 learning sites across the state, over 500,000 community college students annually pursue academic degrees, 130+ certifications in career and technical training, and diverse courses that refresh and develop career and life skills. Community college programs are designed for both full and part-time students, and offer online learning opportunities, state-of-the-art facilities, and professional and adjunct teaching staff. Key partners in local economic development, Maryland community colleges deliver customized training designed to meet immediate, local labor needs and ensure the availability of a skilled workforce to attract new business employers. The Maryland Association of Community Colleges (MACC) is an advocate for the state’s community colleges and the educational needs of the students they serve. For more information about MACC and Maryland’s community colleges, visit www.mdacc.org or call (410) 974-8117.
**Information courtesy of Dr. Bernie Sandusky, Executive Director, Maryland Association of Community Colleges