President Obama Proposes Free Community College for All

obama-thumbPresident Obama has proposed that two years of community college be available free for all students. Under the plan students would have to attend community college at least on a half-time basis. Students must maintain a 2.5 grade point average and continue to make progress toward an associate’s degree or technical certificate.

Under the plan the federal government would issue grants covering three-fourths of all tuition costs with participating states paying the remaining one-quarter of a student’s tuition.

The White House estimates that the program would benefit nine million students annually and save them an average of $3,800 in tuition costs each year.

The White House did not specify where the funds would come from to finance the new program. With a GOP-controlled Congress, it undoubtedly will be very difficult for the President to establish a new massive public program.

While the new plan would seem to be highly beneficial to the educational prospects of African Americans, some Black leaders have expressed a fear that a free community college education will serve to drag down enrollments at four-year historically Black colleges and universities. Many of these schools are struggling financially. If large numbers of Black students opt for the free community college plan, enrollments at these four-year HBCUs might drop significantly.

Below is a video of President Obama discussing the plan.

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  1. Hi. I think this is a great idea. Hopefully this applies to adults seeking higher education. He says for everyone who’s willing to work for it. I’m approaching 30, and I’m also a single mom whom would love to go back to school, but I can’t afford to. I’m constantly searching online for grants for minority women to attend college,but have yet to find one that applies to adults wishing to return to school. I didn’t realize how important school was years ago, so this would be like a second chance for me and for so many others like me. I’m keeping my fingers crossed!

  2. If realized this would be a positive for so many Americans who are struggling to balance work and address a changing economy. The likelihood of a Republican controlled Congress passing such a proposal especially publicly announced by sitting POTUS Obama is fanciful at best. The union of HBCU’s worrying about the prospective drain of potential students is also fanciful. A more productive HBCU strategy is to confront current flagging graduation rates and institute solutions.

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