FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) -- The function of community college has changed, according to political science professor Mike Wolf.
“It’s not just the first two years of college, it’s also specialization in a lot of areas,” he said.
Anywhere from technology to healthcare to culinary arts.
But now access to these programs could be in jeopardy in some states as President Biden’s push for free community college likely won’t survive his economic plan.
“There’s a resistance to providing a benefit for what the other perceive as something you should be paying for,” Wolf said on the debate over the issue in Congress.
But here in Indiana, it might not have as great of an impact as it would in other states.
“Because community college is already free for students who have the most financial need, the impact of that proposal not being included in the federal reconciliation plan is not going to be as great as it would be in other states,” Mary Jane Michalak, Ivy Tech’s Vice President of Government Relations, said.
She said the state of Indiana allocates almost $400 million for financial aid, so students who need help paying for school can get it.
Ivy Tech is also an open-access institution, so anyone can go.
“We accept students regardless of what their GPA was in high school and we help remediate students and provide them with basic skills before they enter into college-level classes in some cases,” Michalak said.
Wolf says it’s possible for free community college to come up again in the future as Biden’s presidency moves out of the honeymoon phase.
“If it’s pitched a little more as economic development and development of trades and other kinds of things that community colleges are really at the cutting edge of now,” he said.
According to Michalak, across Indiana in the Spring of 2021, over 18,000 Ivy Tech students went to school for free with financial aid.
To learn more about financial aid opportunities with Ivy Tech Fort Wayne, click here.
Ivy Tech will also be hosting a FAFSA filing assistance event on Sunday, Nov. 7.