Biden wants to make community college free. Can progressives push him further?

President Joe Biden’s administration is set to push to make community college tuition-free across the country, a potentially revolutionary policy that could nonetheless disappoint progressives who hope to persuade him to turn a campaign plan to make four-year public colleges free into a reality.

On Monday, first lady Jill Biden and Education Secretary Miguel Cardona traveled to Sauk Valley Community College here to extol the virtues of the nation’s community colleges as economic boosters and institutions open to all economic and social classes. It’s a familiar role for Jill Biden, a longtime professor at Northern Virginia Community College who has spent much of the past decade pushing to make community colleges free.

“Community colleges are our future,” Biden said, without ever directly mentioning her husband’s yet-to-be-formally-unveiled plan to make them tuition-free. (The president is expected to lay out his proposal, part of the broader American Families Plan, during a Wednesday address to Congress.)

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