- Oregon's free tuition plan, which would tie post-graduation payments to income, won approval to be explored by the state Legislature last week, but it faces a long road to becoming a reality, with a commission now appointed to study the idea and a trial program proposal still to be proposed.
- Mark Kantrowitz, a senior vice president at Edvisors.com, which runs a group of financial aid websites, believes that students would still need to take on loans, which would pair with the income-tied payments to keep financial burdens on students strong; he also doubts such a plan could cover the university's expenses.
- Additionally, collecting payments from graduates out of state or internationally could prove difficult, with Oregon lacking a legal means to compel out-of-state residents to disclose their income.
Oregon is at least trying to solve a major problem right now. Student debt should be a major concern for higher ed institutions, and even if the current form of the plan accepted for exploration in Oregon doesn't come to fruition in its current state, it is innovative and could spark discussions that lead to an ultimate, more practical answer.