We should put pressure on universities to adopt this approach to keeping college affordable:
The University of Houston will waive tuition for students with family incomes at or below $65,000, in an effort to keep college accessible.
The announcement comes weeks after the University of Southern California made a similar move.
The University of Houston's policy is part of a program called Cougar Promise, which began in 2008 for families with incomes up to $30,000. Before this latest expansion, families with adjusted gross incomes up to $50,000 were eligible for waived tuition and mandatory fees, but this extension furthers the reach.
Students starting school in the fall will be eligible.
"Making college education affordable and accessible is at the foundation of our mission and critical for so many aspiring students across the income spectrum. By expanding our financial support program to reduce financial barriers, we will help more students fulfill their dreams of earning a college degree," said university President Renu Khator said in a statement.
There are probably a number of things driving this, but we have started to see the effects of socializing the idea that college should be affordable or free in order to life people out of poverty. There will always be an elite ring of universities that cater to the wealthy and insulate them from society. But what we need in order to expand and transform the Middle Class is a path that allows people to get an education and move into a way of life commensurate with how hard they are willing to work at educating themselves. If this leads to good things, it should be universally accepted and schools like the University of Houston should be commended for getting the ball rolling.
I also think the noise being made in this primary season has helped as well. Getting out ahead of the push for free college isn't a bad business model.