New state policy aims to make higher education more affordable

HARRISBURG, PA. - The Keystone Research Center and the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center have created a new plan that would make higher education more affordable for Pennsylvanians. Officials and state legislators unveiled the policy at the state capitol complex. The policy includes two years of free tuition for qualifying students at any of the commonwealth's 14 community colleges, and four years of free tuition for students accepted into one of the state's 14 universities in the State System of Higher Education. Democratic State Senator Vincent Hughes says the policy is a necessity.

"We need to work aggressively to make something like this happen," said Senator Vincent Hughes. "We need to use this as a beginning to kick off the conversation so that we can make sure that all students in all sectors of the higher education entity can have access to  whatever is necessary to move them forward."

To qualify for the proposed free tuition, the parents of students would have to meet certain income requirements. According to the author's of the proposal, Pennsylvania is ranked 47th out of 50 when it comes to investing in higher education.