Against the backdrop of a $1.6 trillion student debt crisis and declining college enrollment, free college has emerged as a political lightning rod in today’s higher education debate. Questions about who should and will benefit⁠—and what “free” even means⁠—have created a free-for-whom free-for-all, with proposals varying both by student and institutional access. To evaluate these

College affordability has been a major kitchen-table issue for American families for the past three decades. This is not surprising considering that college tuition rates have shot up since the 1980s: Tuition at public four-year colleges increased 213 percent from 1987 to 2017 and 129 percent at private not-for-profit colleges, helping drive the $1.6 trillion

The idea of “free college” has assumed an important place in the world of big and bold new policy ideas. However, it’s become an umbrella phrase for a variety of different policy proposals with very different terms and conditions. A free college plan can reinforce progressive values—reducing racial disparities, supporting democracy, and building a more

As policymakers consider free or debt-free college plans, it is critical that they recognize that today higher education is essential and that the federal government can play a vital role in ensuring that quality higher education is broadly accessible. Many current free or debt-free college proposals share a similar structure of creating federal-state partnerships, but

In the wake of President Trump’s election in 2016, my friends and I at the George Washington University (GW) were anxious about health insurance. We worried that Trump and a Republican legislature might overturn the entire Affordable Care Act. A loss of protections allowing young people to stay on their parents’ health insurance until age

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 24, 2019 CONTACT: Ariela Weinberger, aweinberger@rooseveltinstitute.org STATEMENT: Roosevelt Institute Fellow Responds to Resignation in US Department of Education New York, NY—Tuition is rising, and student loan debt stands at more than $1.6 trillion. Meanwhile, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos’s policies continue to trap Americans in more debt.  Today, however, news is

For decades, regulators have had only limited success in taming a for-profit college industry that routinely defrauds students, inflates prices, and produces devastatingly bad outcomes for student loan borrowers. But recently, instead of promoting complex regulatory schemes, some policymakers have offered a simple solution: take away for-profit colleges’ federal subsidies. Today, Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA)

America’s $1.6 trillion student debt crisis is crushing millions of us, but it is disproportionately harming Black people—and fueling the racial wealth gap.  In a new Roosevelt report, co-released with Demos and The Century Foundation, Roosevelt Program Manager Suzanne Kahn and her coauthors underscore that our debt-financed higher education system reinforces the structural racism that plagues

The $1.6 trillion student debt crisis is holding back many Americans, but it is especially damaging to racial equality. Already disadvantaged by generational wealth disparities, Black students and their families end up paying more for college than white families do, and they get a lot less in the end. To build a higher education system

Student debt cancellation is generating the most online attention out of all of the Democratic presidential candidates’ policy proposals, according to a new analysis. Given that issues like health care or immigration are usually what voters care most about, this is a notable shift. It’s not just the subject of student debt that has captured