Bill Explores Free Community College

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MEDFORD, Ore. — Joshua Majchrzak graduated from high school last year and is now working toward his dream.

“Right now I’m just doing my pre-requisites at R.C.C. but eventually I plan on going into nanotechnology which is a new field in science,” said Majchrzak.

The road to that career will include higher education and the tuition that comes with it — something Majchrzak hasn’t let get in his away.

“What I do have is FAFSA, which is really helpful because it helps pay for school and also, I have some money left over so I can actually do some food,” said Majchrzak.

Senate Bill 1524 has passed through both the Oregon House and Senate, giving the Higher Education Coordinating Commission a new job.

With Governor Kitzhaber’s signature the commission would examine the viability of a program in which the state would pick up the tab on all community college tuition and fees for graduates of Oregon high schools.

“I think it would mean a lot to everybody, it would show that Oregon really wants to help, this community thrive,” said R.C.C. student Matt Gabbard.

Representative Peter Buckley of Ashland voted in favor of the bill and said finding ways to fund higher education and relieve the financial burden on students is a priority.

The democrat said other options have been explored in the past, and is interested to see what the results of this study could be.

“Would Southern Oregon University, for instance be negatively impacted by the fact that someone entering high education as a freshman could simply go to a community college for no cost?” said Rep. Peter Buckley.

Joshua said any savings now would be put directly toward his future.

“Use what money I have left over, the money I’ve saved up, to pay for actual four year college or some kind of program that would help me in my field,” said Majchrzak.