As you may be aware, Eastern Gateway Community College (EGCC) has been in ongoing negotiations for the past year with the U.S. Department of Education about the structure of the Free College Benefit they offered to union members and has fought hard on behalf of all students to continue these benefits. Their ability to gain a preliminary injunction against the Department of Education gained a full year of continued free education for students and members enrolled in the Free College Program.

Unfortunately, given the negotiations to date with the Department of Education, EGCC is no longer able to offer the Free College Benefit for new students beginning in the Fall semester 2023.

As a result of the above situation, we have been working to create an alternative to EGCC’s now discontinued “Free College” member benefit and I am happy to announce that we will be launching the new UFCW’s Discount Union College Benefit ahead of the upcoming school year.

UFCW has ensured that the new program will be sustainable and fully compliant with the Department of Education’s guidelines. As a result, we will be able to offer significantly discounted tuition rates to UFCW members and their families. Prospective students will have the opportunity to work directly with school administrators to apply for federal financial assistance, which could cover their remaining tuition costs.

Furthermore, we have broadened the selection of participating colleges and degree programs to offer a wider range of options, spanning from certificates and associate to bachelor’s degrees. We will also be introducing master’s degrees as a new addition to the program, providing even more opportunities for our participants.

We are confident that the new program will make a meaningful difference in the lives of our members and their families.

In the coming weeks, we will be providing you with additional details and materials about the new Union College Benefit program to share with your members.