Story at a glance

  • First lady Jill Biden said Monday she is again pushing for free community college tuition for all students who choose to attend
  • “Six years after we launched College Promise, he's ready for big ideas and full action, so that all Americans can go to community college, have the support they need to finish and get good jobs," Biden said.
  • Student borrowers currently owe more than $1.7 trillion collectively.

First lady Jill Biden said Monday she is again pushing for free community college tuition for all students who choose to attend. 

Biden said during her visit to Sauk Valley Community College in Dixon, Ill., that the “College Promise” initiative was first launched in 2015 as an effort “where all Americans can come together and find common ground" regardless of political affiliation, CNN reported

"Community colleges meet students where they are," Biden said. "We can't afford to exclude so many from continuing their education just because they come from certain areas or income brackets."


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The original initiative ultimately failed to gain legislative support, CNN reported. But various two-year schools across the country have offered their own versions. The first lady said the president is ready to address the issue head on. 

"Now, six years after we launched College Promise, he's ready for big ideas and full action, so that all Americans can go to community college, have the support they need to finish and get good jobs," the first lady said.

Financial concerns remain a foremost impediment for those seeking higher education. Student borrowers currently owe more than $1.7 trillion collectively. Yet the Biden administration has initiated steps to reduce the burden. 

In March, Education Secretary Miguel Cardona relieved $1 billion in student debt for borrowers who can prove they were defrauded by a particular academic institution. 

“Borrowers deserve a simplified and fair path to relief when they have been harmed by their institution’s misconduct,” Cardona said. “A close review of these claims and the associated evidence showed these borrowers have been harmed and we will grant them a fresh start from their debt.”

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said in early April that the president could consider more reprieve than his first $10,000 proposal. Psaki added that congressional approval of Biden’s initial plan might encourage the president to push for more. 

"I think that would naturally be the first step before it's a larger amount beyond there," Psaki said.


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Published on Apr 20, 2021