Tuition-Free College Plan Advances in Oregon


Oregonians are about to enter a new era of "pay it forward, pay it back" which would provide free college tuition at public universities and community colleges. In return for an education, students will pay back the state with a percentage of their incomes after graduation.

The plan passed unanimously through the Oregon House and Senate this past week, and is set for the Oregon governor's signature next week. The bill was approved the same day that the nation's interest rates on federally subsidized Stafford loans doubled to 6.8 percent after the U.S. Congress refused to pass legislation preventing the loan rate hike.

The details of the plan still need to be ironed out, but one of the models would have Oregon community college students pay 1.5 percent of their incomes and all four-year public university students pay 3 percent—both for 20 years after graduation.