Rhode Island Governor Gina M. Raimondo Announces Statewide Community College Promise

January 16, 2017

The Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT) is excited to share that Rhode Island Governor Gina M. Raimondo today announced a statewide program to make two years of community college education available tuition free for all Community College of Rhode Island students.

"We are encouraged by Governor Raimondo's announcement," said ACCT President and CEO J. Noah Brown. "The nation's community colleges have always been driven by the principle that all students deserve access to two years of high-quality higher education. College Promise programs diminish the financial barriers that too often get in the way of students' potentials." 

College Promise programs allow students to attend community colleges for two years without paying tuition. As explained by Inside Higher Ed, under Raimondo's plan:

Students at the Community College of Rhode Island would pay no tuition while earning an associate degree. For state residents who start at Rhode Island College or the University of Rhode Island, their junior and senior years would be tuition-free. There is no income limit, although the public system in Rhode Island serves many more low-income students than wealthy students.

The plan covers all Rhode Island high school graduates within one year of graduation or within one year of having attained a GED.

The Rhode Island announcement comes less than two weeks after New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo proposed tuition-free college for New York residents whose families earn $125,000 per year or less.

"A special commission to President Harry S. Truman proposed in 1947 making community college as universally available as public K-12 education," Brown said. "It is heartening to know that we are finally well on our way to keeping that promise, state by state." 

Brown serves on the advisory board of the nonpartisan not-for-profit College Promise Campaign. The Campaign's website details Promise programs from throughout the country, along with original research and other resources.