Governor Gina Raimondo is poised Monday to announce a major education initiative that would make the first two years of public higher education tuition-free for Rhode Island high school graduates enrolled at the state’s three public colleges – the Community College of Rhode Island, the University of Rhode Island and Rhode Island College, according to Statehouse sources.
Raimondo is scheduled to make the plan public at the 34th annual Martin Luther King Jr. breakfast at the Rhodes on the Pawtuxet in Cranston, a big event that usually 1,000 or more to honor the legacy of the civil rights leader. Monday is the MLK holiday.
The tuition initiative, which is expected to cost about $30 million annually, would be a boost to students who meet the requirements for admission to state higher education institutions but can’t afford tuition. The plan might also help keep studious young scholars in Rhode Island instead of attending colleges outside the state.
Details of the plan were not available but the announcement would come a day before the governor’s annual State of the State speech. Statehouse sources also said Raimondo is slated to discuss the proposal, which would require General Assembly approval, at an event Wednesday at Cranston High School East.