The idea of free college isn’t new. In 2014, President Obama proposed free community college in his State of the Union Address. Both Hilary Clinton and Berny Sanders had free college plans in the 2016 election, and 2020 Democratic candidates also have plenty of ideas. However, in 2017, New York was the first state to make all 2 and 4-year public colleges free for families who earn up to $125,000 – with some important caveats.

In this episode, host Nat Malkus talks to Elsa Magee of the New York State Higher Education Services Corporation, and Christopher Barto of LIM College, about New York’s Experience implementing free college, how colleges have reacted to the program, trade-offs the state had to make, and implementation lessons that states interested in a similar program can learn.


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