Obama announces plan to make community college free

Kaitlyn Schallhorn
Former Reporter

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  • President Obama announced on Thursday his plan to make community college free to anyone “willing to work for it.”
  • Obama will announce the proposal, as a preview to his upcoming State of the Union address, in Tennessee.
  • Tennessee has recently implemented a similar program.
  • President Barack Obama announced Thursday his plan to make community college free to those who are “willing to work for it.”

    The president will announce the proposal—America’s College Promise—Friday while at Pellissippi State Community College in Tennessee, a state that has already implemented a similar program.

    "Put simply, what I’d like to do is to see the first two years of community college free for everybody who is willing to work for it."   

    “Put simply, what I’d like to do is to see the first two years of community college free for everybody who is willing to work for it,” Obama said in a video message while aboard Air Force One.

    While it is still unknown how the federal government would pay for the plan, the program is expected to save around nine million community college students an average of $3,800 per year on tuition.

    According to The Weekly Standard, that would put the total cost at a little more than $34 billion.

    Obama’s proposal would require the federal government to pay for 75 percent of the “average cost of community college,” according to Inside Higher Ed. States participating in the plan would have to pick up the remaining balance.

    Friday’s announcement is a preview of Obama’s upcoming State of the Union address on Jan. 20 when he is expected to reveal the full price tag and proposal.

    Vice President Joe Biden and his wife are expected to attend the event at Pellissippi State Community College alongside Obama.

    Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @K_Schallhorn



    Kaitlyn Schallhorn

    Kaitlyn Schallhorn

    Former Reporter

    Kaitlyn Schallhorn is a reporter with Campus Reform. Prior to joining Campus Reform, Kaitlyn was a reporter at Red Alert Politics and covered business and restaurants for the Alexandria Times.  

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