Senate bill would make community college free for Texans

Senate bill would make community college free for Texans

WICHITA FALLS, TX (RNN Texoma) - Texas Senate Bill 33 aims to make community college free for in-state students.

Senate bill would make community college free for Texans

“With the amount of student loans people are taking out, it’s crazy how much weight students are having to put on just thinking about financial issues that they’re going to have to deal with years after their done with college,” said Thanya Vasquez.

Vasquez is a sophomore at Vernon College and knows first-hand paying tuition can be difficult.

That is why she supports the bill filed by Senator Judith Zaffirini.

“I definitely think at least two years with certain guidelines people should be able to attend college for free,” said Vasquez.

The bill does have guidelines:

  • Students must be Texas resident
  • Graduate from a high school or get an equivalency certificate within the last 12 months
  • Be enrolled at least part-time
  • Have applied for financial aid 
  • Comply with any requirement set forth by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board

Those convicted of a felony or certain drug crimes do not qualify.

The bill also says students have to make satisfactory academic progress.

Bruce Gibson is a college student and a dad. While he will not qualify since he is not a new student this could help his kids.

“I think it’s a good thing for this generation coming up now, especially if we can get them motivated to make a plan and make a decision as to what they want to do with their lives in the future,” said Gibson.

Senator Zaffirini also filed a bill that would make public universities tuition-free for in-state students with households earning less than $150,000 a year.

However, the bills do not say how the state would pay for the grant money.

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