Will your graduates be eligible for your state's free community college program?

Dear Colleagues:

Today's OCTAE Connection includes a link to America's College Promise: A Progress Report on Free Community College.  The report has a state-by-state update on the free community college movement.  Is your state there?  Do you know if your adult learners will be eligible once they obtain a high school equivalency credential or complete their English language instruction?  Some states have had "free community college" programs for a while.  How does it work for students, if they are not coming directly from high school?

Cynthia Zafft

Postsecondary Completion Moderator



To learn more about states' action on creating free community colleges, check out The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL)webpage.

Currently, Tennessee, Oregon, and Minnesota have free community college programs. Eleven additional states have introduced legislation to create programs during the 2015 session.  Several more states are considering legislation this session that would create free community college programs.

To learn more about the legislative actions in the three states that have successfully adopted legislation, and read full text of the bills currently under consideration, check out the NCSL map

This could make a great research project for a civics or government class.  If you have thoughts on using this information with learners in your program, please share it with us.


Here is another resource for learners to engage in supporting the movement for free access to community college.  Endorsed by Dr. Jill Biden, Heads Up America is an initiative aimed at getting people involved in the conversation about access to post-secondary education.  In addition to a video message from President Obama, the site includes a social media and community organizing tool kit to get more people talking.