Rhode Island College Students React To Governor's Free Tuition Plan

Jan 19, 2017

Rhode Island College would be one of the schools offering students free tuition under the governor's proposed plan.
Credit RIPR FILE PHOTO

Students at Rhode Island College reacted to Governor Gina Raimondo’s free tuition plan this week. The governor’s higher education proposal would cover the cost of tuition for in-state students for the first two years at the Community College of Rhode Island, or the last two years at the University of Rhode Island and Rhode Island College.

The plan would cover all students, regardless of grades or family income. First- year Sam Ducharme said she’s all in favor of the proposal.

“Well obviously I’d love it just because I can barely afford college as it is,” said Ducharme. “I feel like most people don’t have anything saved up for any of their semesters, so I feel like it would help everyone.”

Ducharme said the program could alleviate financial anxiety experienced by many college students.

“Everyone I talk to is extremely worried about it,” Ducharme said. “Just because you don’t know where that money’s going to come from, and when you’re going to pay it off.”

Ducharme falls in that category. She had enough in savings to get her through two semesters of school but will have to figure something out for the fall.

Rhode Island College freshman Aldo Bezait also supports the proposal. He said he thinks it might motivate more students to enroll.

“It might be a good opportunity for more students to get into school,” Bezait said. “I guess now that we’re in school, we’re kind of understanding more the cost of how it is, like how it’s not easy to gain money. “  

Raimondo plans to introduce the college tuition proposal in her state budget Thursday. Already some have criticized the price tag – about $30 million a year.