Free College Goes Mainstream

September 26, 2018
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After free college played a big role in the fight for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016, Donald Trump's surprising election put a moratorium on discussions of a large-scale college-affordability plan.

But for the past two years, free college programs have continued to launch at the state and local level. And this election cycle, more candidates than ever are running on the idea.

Ben Jealous is running for governor of Maryland on a campaign to make community college free and four-year college “debt-free.” David Garcia is campaigning for governor in Arizona on a plan to make four-year public college tuition-free. And Ned Lamont in Connecticut wants to make the first two years free at any public college or university in the state. In all, nearly 10 Democratic gubernatorial candidates are running on some kind of free-college plan.

And even more candidates for Congress are campaigning on free college.

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