Connecticut colleges have an enrollment problem. Massachusetts offers a solution

In Massachusetts, officials have responded to an enrollment crisis at public universities with significant new spending, including a program that makes community college entirely free for any state resident 25 or older.

As Connecticut, like other states, faces a sharp decline in enrollment at its public colleges, one line of argument suggests giving less money to higher education. Fewer students, the reasoning goes, should lead to fewer dollars.

Just across the state border, however, Connecticut’s northern neighbor has embraced the exact opposite approach. In Massachusetts, officials have responded to an enrollment crisis at public universities with significant new spending, including a program that makes community college entirely free for any state resident 25 or older.

The result: Massachusetts recently announced a year-over-year increase in students, snapping a streak of nine straight years of decline.

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