The Economic Opportunity Institute’s innovative proposal to re-imagine college tuition financing is getting some serious attention in the state of Oregon. The proposal, dubbed Pay It Forward: The Debt-Free Degree Plan, would allow students to attend any public college or university without up-front tuition costs. Instead, they would pay a small percentage of their income for a set number of years after they graduate.
The idea was picked up by students at Portland State University working on a capstone project about student debt policy. It gained steam among students, administrators, and advocates, and has now been introduced in the state legislature by Rep. Michael Dembrow, Chair of the House Committee on Higher Education.
The proposal appears to have strong support in Oregon – a pilot program could begin there as early as summer 2014. Other states looking at the Pay It Forward proposal include California, Vermont and New York.