President Obama gave a sneak peek at his State of the Union Address today by proposing to offer two years of free community college for American students and workers.
Obama released his community college proposal in a video uploaded to Facebook, and will deliver a speech about it Friday in Knoxville, Tenn.
Put simply, what I’d like to do is to see the first two years of community college free for anybody who’s willing to work for it. It’s something we can accomplish, and it’s something that will train our workforce so that we can compete with anyone in the world.
The White House did not release many details of the proposal, stating those will come in the State of the Union Address on January 20 and in the February 2 presidential budget request. The White House did announce an expectation of 9 million students participating with a per student contribution of up to $3,800 per year. The estimated cost of the program will be $34.2 billion with the federal government paying three-quarters and states making up the rest.
Cecilia Munoz, Obama’s domestic policy adviser, said the plan will require states, community colleges and students to cooperate for the plan to work. States would contribute approximately one-quarter of the funding, depending upon how much they currently contribute to community colleges.
Ms. Munoz said The America’s College Promise program would be available to traditional and non-traditional college students, and would support those seeking the first two years of a bachelor’s degree, an associate degree, or job training. She further stated;
Community colleges have to raise their game by establishing standards to allow students to transfer those credits to a four-year degree and students must take responsibility for their education, earn good grades and stay on track to graduate in order to earn free tuition.
President Obama said that a world-class education starts with children, but that adults need training, too.
It’s not just for kids, we also have to make sure that everybody has the opportunity to constantly train themselves for better jobs, better wages, better benefits.
Watch the video below.
Image via screenshot from WhiteHouse.gov video