Maryland's new law providing community college tuition aid inspires Iowa gubernatorial candidate
One of Iowa's candidates for governor hopes to follow in Maryland's footsteps in providing aid for state residents who want to attend community colleges.
Cathy Glasson, one of six Democrats vying to face off against Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds in the November general election, wants to mirror Maryland's recent law, which provides up to $5,000 to eligible state residents who want to go to college.
"The amount of student debt in this state is staggering," Glasson said during a recent interview with the Des Moines Register's editorial board.
Maryland's recently passed legislation allows students who graduated from high school or who received a GED in the last two years, and who hold a GPA of 2.3 or higher to qualify for community college tuition aid. The student's family must also earn less than $125,000 per year.
Glasson, who spent much of her career as a registered nurse, said she believes Iowa needs to freeze tuition at public universities.
"From day one in this campaign, my philosophy has been that we actually need to freeze tuition at our public universities immediately," Glasson said. "Tuition is too high at our public universities and it's because we are not funding them at the level they need to be funded."
She said if elected, she will work with experts and higher education stakeholders to come up with a plan to help undergraduate students graduate from public universities debt free.
"We need to invest in public education," Glasson said. "If we are a state that says we truly value public education, let's put our money where our mouth is."