“It’s time to make tuition at our public colleges and universities free and it can be done without increasing the national debt,” writes senior fellow Morley Winograd. To make this dream a reality, he founded the nonprofit Redeeming America’s Promise (RAP), a national campaign and inter-generational alliance dedicated to making college accessible to all Americans.
The RAP website recounts how the organization began:
“RAP evolved from discussions that started in in 2013 among a group of former elected officials and policy experts, who wanted to make one more contribution to America’s future in their retirement years. As we were coming of age, we were forcefully reminded by John F. Kennedy that the responsibility of being born into such a privileged period is a requirement to give back and we saw RAP as perhaps our last, best chance to respond to his call.”
“We believe that it is time for older Americans to provide younger generations with many of the same possibilities we enjoyed by fundamentally reforming our nation’s system for financing higher education. The growing divide between family income and higher education cost increases have made the current system unworkable. Without fundamental changes the problems will even get worse.”
In fact, the Pew Research Center has found that “households headed by a young, college-educated adult without any student debt obligations have about seven times the typical net worth ($64,700) of households headed by a young, college-educated adult with student debt ($8,700).”
In a video about the economics of higher education, Winograd says, “It is intolerable to burden a generation with the responsibility to self-finance the education that not only they need to be successful, but that society needs to be successful. We’ve never done that in our past.”
— CFCT (@FreeCollegeNow) May 23, 2014