New RI bill aimed to address skills gap and high cost of college

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

House Speaker Gordon D. Fox and House Health, Education and Welfare Committee Chairman Joseph M. McNamara have introduced legislation to create a pilot program that would allow students to replace tuition with a plan that allows them to pay a percentage of their income upon graduation.

The "Pay It Forward, Pay It Back" bill (H7201) is based on a similar program in Oregon, and is meant to provide a more affordable higher education option while steering students toward the fields where local employers need more skilled employees.

"This is a bold, innovative idea that would address two of our state's major challenges -- the rapid rise of college costs and the skills gap -- at once..." said Fox, D-Providence. The legislation directs the Department of Education to create a three-year pilot program at one or more of the state's colleges by June 20, 2015.

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