How free college works in a red state like Texas

August 1, 2019 | Quartz

Free college has become a progressive hallmark for Democrats vying for the US White House in 2020. Practically all of the top contenders back some form of tuition-free higher education, one response to the country’s $1.5 trillion student debt problem.

But the concept is not exclusively liberal, or just a campaign promise. Dozens of states and cities around the country have already rolled out free college programs. They are usually dubbed College Promise, but they don’t all look the same. In New York, students have to commit to stay in the state after graduation for the same amount of time they got free tuition. In West Virginia, applicants have to pass a drug test to qualify. In Texas’ Dallas County, the bulk of the money comes from federal dollars.

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