To jumpstart our economy and provide pandemic relief, Congress & President Biden must make free college tuition a part of their pandemic relief package and first budget.

Fighting for free college is about more than keeping a campaign promise. We need free college tuition to help students who are struggling to survive, workers who need to be retrained, and families who are being crushed by the cost of college. A national free college plan will create a path for students, frontline workers, and ordinary people to get a tuition-free degree that will help them get a better job and live a better life.

Free college tuition programs have earned bipartisan support and are proven to be an effective tool for students to earn degrees with less debt. In Michigan, where Rise advocated for the bipartisan Reconnect proposal, more than 80,000 essential workers have already applied to get a free community college degree under a program created for essential workers. Expanding that program with a national strategy to serve all students can help reverse the declining enrollment at colleges and universities, especially among low-income students, and help workers prepare for a brighter future.

President Biden and many members of Congress campaigned on tuition-free college. During this time of budget challenges for most states, we need Congress and the President to act on Day 1. In 2009, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act bailed out state governments, but did not include strong provisions to protect students. Ultimately, tuition skyrocketed and added an additional $1 trillion in student loan debt to the economy between 2009 and today. We can’t afford another $1 trillion mistake.

Making free college tuition a priority on day 1–including in President Biden’s budget–is the first step to getting it done in Congress. With commitments from members of Congress and from the President to moving this proposal forward, we can work together to get this done. Add your name if you agree that Congress and President Biden should make free tuition a part of pandemic relief and their first budget.

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