Delaware Public Media

UD seeks state funding for free college tuition proposal

Jan 31, 2019

The University of Delaware is seeking state funding to allow some First State students to attend for free.

UD President Dennis Assanis wants to eliminate tuition for students whose families make $75,000 or less.

State lawmakers would have to commit to $2.25 million this year above the $122.7 million in the governor’s recommended budget. That amount would grow over four years to $9 million annually, totaling $22.5 million.

Assanis said it will be transformational.

“So many families will understand the University of Delaware offers truly low-cost, excellent value, excellent education to the citizens of our state,” he said.

But Assanis got push back from some members of the Joint Finance Committee. State Sen. Dave Lawson says UD brings in billions in revenue and yet his Marydel constituents cannot afford to attend.

Lawson also disputes the idea of free college. He said the cost will be borne by taxpayers.

“That’s a tenet of socialism," he said. "We’ve got to take it from those who have and give it to those who have not and we’re going to even up the playing field and pretty soon you’ve got nobody working. Look at Venezuela.”

Lawson also criticized a banner advertising a beer company with the UD logo on it. He said the school’s reputation as a party school reflects poorly on it.