Why Some States Are Making Short-Term Training Free

Source: Sophie Quinton, Stateline, May 3, 2017

Community colleges are known for their associate degree programs. But these days, many community colleges award more certificates than degrees. Certificates typically take less than two years to complete and promise to prepare students for entry-level jobs in fields such as medical insurance coding or welding.

Now Kentucky and Indiana have created scholarships that would make some certificates tuition-free. The new grants draw inspiration from the free college idea pushed by Democrats like former President Barack Obama and embraced by Oregon, Tennessee and New York. But they’re less focused on reducing soaring tuition prices and more focused on training students for jobs that are sitting open. …. Arkansas recently put its own twist on free college with a grant that makes two-year degrees free for students of high-demand subjects, such as computer science. ….