Free tuition and required fees at public colleges and universities is a popular idea, with several 2016 presidential candidates offering variations on this theme. But, all of the proposals for free or nearly free college tuition suffer from a fatal flaw: They all propose paying for the cost using a method that is a nonstarter for members of the other political party.
This student aid policy analysis paper introduces a proposal for free tuition & required fees and free textbooks that does not require an increase in taxes. Instead, it demonstrates how to shift current spending on student financial aid to cover the cost of this initiative.
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