State Sen. Anthony Pollina says Vermont's current level of higher education funding undermines the state's economy and culture. When the Legislature reconvenes in January, he'll propose allowing Vermont students to attend state college for the price of room and board. In exchange, the state would collect a small percentage of their annual income for at least a decade.
"The advantage is that you do away with the real barrier to attending college, which is the upfront tuition cost. Students don't have to borrow money, so they don't come out of college with a lot of debt. And when they do pay for their college, they're paying for it based on their income and their ability to pay which is the fairest way to do it," said Pollina, P/D-Washington County.
The proposal is based off a pilot program in Oregon.
Pollina says it may also push Vermont to help more. In 1980, Vermont used to subsidize about half the costs for in-state students. Now, that figure sits at about 20 percent.
"The key question is how we support the colleges until the money starts coming in from the students. We can do that through bonding or a number of ways we're going to look at this session," Pollina said.
"Definitely sounds like an exciting proposed piece of legislation and would help out my generation and the ones coming underneath us for sure," said Heather Pulver-Gaillard of Burlington.
"I think it would be a good idea," said Tyler Woods of Essex Junction. "I still have a little bit of my tuition from Norwich going on. It's a little under $20,000 left, but it's not too bad."
"I think it's an awesome idea. I've just dropped my third and last kid at college," said Wendy Everhart of South Burlington.
State College spokespeople and Pollina's colleagues in the Legislature say they're interested in any program to cut college costs, but need to see the dollars and cents before the measure earns their support.
Pollina says he still needs to work out some of the details for the proposed plan, including the rate and length of the income graduates pay, as well as how to handle dropouts. He also says the current payment options should remain open to those who feel that route provides a better deal.
Wednesday, April 16 2014 11:52 PM EDT2014-04-17 03:52:17 GMT
The Stowe Police Department is currently investigating the untimely death of two adults. Stowe Police responded to 262 Cady Hill Road at 4:38 p.m. and discovered deceased individuals. The Stowe PoliceMore >>
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Wednesday, April 16 2014 11:49 PM EDT2014-04-17 03:49:04 GMT
Major flaws were uncovered in the Burlington School Budget that failed at the polls. An audit has discovered that the district was making huge errors when budgeting for next year. What this means, is thatMore >>
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Wednesday, April 16 2014 6:53 PM EDT2014-04-16 22:53:47 GMT
Teamwork between a Montgomery farmer and a corporal with the Franklin Country sheriff's department may have saved a life when they pulled off a daring rescue. A woman became trapped in her truck tryingMore >>
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Wednesday, April 16 2014 7:00 PM EDT2014-04-16 23:00:55 GMT
After this week's whirlwind weather events and major flooding Tuesday, Governor Shumlin (D-Vermont), VTrans and state transportation officials held a news conference Wednesday to discuss the aftermath. ShumlinMore >>
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Wednesday, April 16 2014 12:02 PM EDT2014-04-16 16:02:05 GMT
The floods forced Gov. Andrew Cuomo to declare a state of emergency in New York. The governor made the declaration Tuesday night. It covers six counties in northeastern of New York, including two inMore >>
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Wednesday, April 16 2014 6:21 PM EDT2014-04-16 22:21:46 GMT
A body found near the North Hartland Dam appears to be that of a missing man from New Hampshire. Michael Hayward, 42, of Sunapee, disappeared two months ago. His car was found near the Quechee Gorge. PoliceMore >>
A body found near the North Hartland Dam appears to be that of a missing man from New Hampshire.More >>
Wednesday, April 16 2014 7:14 PM EDT2014-04-16 23:14:24 GMT
Authorities say six people managed to escape a house fire in Plattsburgh Tuesday morning. First responders say when they arrived at 42 Smith Street, the house was completely engulfed in flames. CityMore >>
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Wednesday, April 16 2014 6:07 PM EDT2014-04-16 22:07:50 GMT
Police in Haverhill, N.H., say they got numerous calls about a young child walking down a road alone. They found the child about a mile from her home. She was brought back to the residence, but the NewMore >>
Police in Haverhill, N.H., say they found a young child alone about a mile from her home.More >>