Free college in New York. California may be next

“Our existing programs are already helping students reduce tuition costs,” said Debbie Cochrane, vice president of the Institute for College Access and Success in Oakland. “What’s going to help students succeed is not the free tuition, but the money to help them with the other costs of attendance.”

In short, the exact costs that the Degrees Not Debt Scholarship program was intended to cover. According to Assemblymember McCarty’s office, Californians should expect the same proposal to crop up during budget talks next year.

“I am committed to make college more affordable and more accessible, including making the first year of community college free for California students,” McCarty said.

— By Andrew Zaleski, special to