Ohio: Buy One, Get One Tuition-Free

"Most scholarships and tuition-free community college programs either focus on covering the entirety of a student's two years in college or at least the first year," Inside Higher Ed reports.

"But with more two-year colleges shifting focus from student access to completion, there is growing interest in how to ensure that more students don't stop out after one year.

Marion Technical College, located in Ohio, found a solution in an unusual place -- Inside Higher Ed's "Confessions of a Community College Dean" column. That solution, offered by writer Matt Reed, proposed making the second year of college tuition-free, not the first.

'We were trying to find ways for students to take classes in the summer for free and researching how to incentivize students,' said Ryan McCall, Marion Tech's president. 'We'd been thinking about it and talking about it and then I read Matt's article. Do we stick with the summer idea or do we try to go further and expand it to the idea of providing students with a second year free after they've proven they want to do the work and be here?'

Reed's idea came after news last year about the plan from Jerry Brown, California's Democratic governor, to cover the first year of community college. The state already boasts some of the lowest tuition rates in the country, but for cash-strapped areas, Reed wrote that the 'buy a year, get one free' model would be more useful."

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Publication Date: 5/18/2018

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