What's Out: Student Debt. What's In: Free College.

AP Photo

Proposals for making college tuition-free are gaining ground, with backing from a new politically connected coalition. Its founder is a co-author of several books on the Millennial generation and has studied earlier examples of free higher education, such as the City University of New York prior to the mid-1970s. Above, high-school students marched in New York City in 1969 to protest a proposed cut in state aid to CUNY.
June 11, 2014 Premium content for subscribers. Subscribe Today

Student-debt relief plans are all the rage these days in Washington, but a more-radical idea is also gaining some ground: making college free.

In 2013 the idea was aired in a much-discussed book by a faculty-labor activist in California. Then this...

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