Giving Compass' Take:

· In contrast to the Prosper Act, The Hechinger Report explains that the newly proposed Aim Higher Act wants states to provide free community college for residents.

· Is free community college financially possible? How does it affect communities and the workforce?

· Read more about free community college.

House Democrats unveiled the Aim Higher Act this week, which they say would give students the opportunity to go to college debt free without compromising the quality of their education. The proposed bill is a direct response to the Promoting Real Opportunity, Success, and Prosperity through Education Reform (PROSPER) Act, which House Republicans introduced in December.

Aim Higher, just like Prosper, would be a reauthorization of the Higher Education Act – the federal law that controls much of federal spending and lending for postsecondary education. It has not been reauthorized since 2008. Since then, student debt has grown, and 2016 presidential contenders Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton made “free college” part of their campaign platforms.

The Aim Higher bill’s debt-free provision focuses on students who want to attend community college. Aim Higher would, the bill states, “provide states with grant aid to leverage reforms and reward states that make tuition at state colleges and universities more affordable. In return, states promise to maintain their investment in higher education, including their investment in state four-year institutions, and make an associate’s degree at the state’s public two-year colleges free for every student.”

Read the full article about the Aim Higher Act by Delece Smith-Barrow at The Hechinger Report.