president_obama_proposes_free_community_college_for_two_years_m15

President Obama has announced that he would like to propose free community college for adults.

“What I’d like to do is to see the first two years of community college free for everybody who’s willing to work for it,” Obama said in a White House video posted Thursday. “It’s something we can accomplish, and it’s something that will train our workforce so that we can compete with anybody in the world.”

President Obama said that while education is a “key to success” for kids, adults could use some extra education as well.

“What we also understand is that it’s not just for kids, we also have to make sure that everyone has the opportunity to constantly train themselves for better jobs, better wages, better benefits,” Obama said.

Under the proposal, students would be required to be enrolled at least part-time and maintain a modest 2.5 GPA to be in the program. States will have to choose to opt-in to the program. States that choose to join the program would put up a portion of the funding. The White House said if all states participate, an estimated 9 million students could benefit from the program with each full-time student saving an average of $3,800 per year.

“I hope we’ve got a chance to make sure that Congress gets behind these kinds of efforts to ensure that even as we rebound and grow in 2015 that it benefits everybody and not just some,” Obama said.

More details will be additional announced today when President Obama speaks in Tennessee.

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  • PurpNGold1

    Absolutely! Far too many young people are pushed into college only to acquire massive debt, then compete for crappy jobs because of the surplus of grads.

    We need more kids getting their associates or going to trade school- ready to get middle class jobs, marry, and buy homes when they graduate. Even evil Republicans should see the potential to help the middle class, and thus the entire economy, rebound.

  • Objection

    There is nothing in life free. I’m not paying more taxes so illegal immigrants can receive a high school diploma and an associate degree. Stop outsourcing jobs and people will be able to work.

    More students mean more professors and larger buildings. Who is going to pay for this? Middle-Class America is going to pay for it. Thanks but no thanks.

    • Me

      i thought bout that too but the more people that can get decent jobs, the more people there are to contribute. i rather pay for somebody’s education than pay for their foodstamps.

    • Objection

      President Obama has to show me the numbers. You notice how politicians never show you the numbers? The real question is how much is this going to cost the taxpayers.

      i rather pay for somebody’s education than pay for their food stamps.

      $3,800 divided by twelve is $316.66 per month. A single person never gets $316.66 per month in food stamps. A single person only gets $187 per month in food stamps. It cost more to pay for a person’s college education. There are no good jobs in America with an Associate Degree.

    • Me

      re: $187 vs $316, i hear what you’re saying but that $316 will turn into higher tax brackets, which becomes more tax revenue for the gov’t when those students have a degree to help push their jobs into careers or switch fields into something with better pay. that $187 stays $187 with no money recouped after it’s used up. plus if the program is expanded to more than just graduating hs students, those aa’s could be offsetting over $400 in food stamps for a parent who gets to go back to school so they could get a better job to feed their families, or it could help an older person delay retirement and live on more than just the ss check. i’m on the same page as you about obama doing the most for immigrants but this *could* be beneficial to more than just them. plus i like this idea way better than that idea from a couple years ago about forgiving student loan debt.

    • Love.tweet.joi

      Good point!

    • Concerning the outsourcing of jobs, I am in agreement. However, that can only be adequately dealt with through our trade agreements. Although I am not going to touch the sentiment concerning illegal immigrants, the fact remains that your tax dollars have already subsidized illegal wars, illegal occupations, and welfare benefits such as food stamps for people working low wage part time jobs with walmart — all because Walmart will not even raise the price of their products two cents to pay a minimum wage of $10.10. Furthermore, our whole educational system is bloated, not just because of administrative pay and the cost of maintaining buildings, but because the US insists on continually using a 1950s (20th) century based school curriculum for K-12 instead of overhauling the entire curriculum to keep up with needed skills in the area of critical of thinking for the 21st century (and this is even with some of the “so-called” best High Schools). Therefore, universities have to fill in this gap (especially for the Science and Engineering Curriculum) and this eventually snowballs into Students having (at best) more than slightly sufficient knowledge, but not many technical applicable skills. Companies limit their training for fear of an entry level person going to another corporation, but complain about students not having much applicable skills. And then you eventually have the skills gap tied to a generation of workers that employers love to complain about in order to justified bringing in H1B workers to do the jobs that college graduates should be doing at the entry level — just at lower pay than what they would pay an American employee. Therefore, I welcome this proposal. I would rather my taxes go towards the investment of another (future “tax-paying”) citizen’s education as opposed to subsidizing the special interests of a few profiting off of war and squeezing profit out of other workers who couldn’t give a rat’s behind about my future or circumstances.

    • Objection

      Therefore, I welcome this proposal.

      I don’t. I hope the republicans shut it down. I want a stronger STEM program in public schools. I want parents to have vouchers to send their children to private schools.

    • Me

      don’t throw the baby out w/the bath water. i agree that a lot more needs to be done at the pre-college stage b/c that would solve a lot of the problems that show up at the college level (like kids being unprepared for the coursework, or kids wasting several yrs not knowing what they want to do, or kids getting degrees in fields that they won’t be able to live on), but what you want can still happen. why shut down this program just b/c it’s not the one you want? they’re not in conflict with one another. there are lots of problems with our education system, and this program could help solve at least a few of them (cost, preparedness, access, etc).

    • Objection

      why shut down this program just b/c it’s not the one you want?

      Because these students are not ready for college level work. These students are not ready for the jobs of the present or the future. 60% of students at community colleges have to take remedial courses. The remedial courses are costing an extra 7 billion a year. Taxpayers should not have to give these students a free associate degree.

      Lets focus on the real problem. The real problem is our public school system. My children are young. I’m looking out for my children best interest.

    • Me

      but what you’re suggesting is to ignore the students that can benefit from this program and focus solely on the students that are early enough in their education not to be directly affected by this program. even if i was to believe that 60% of cc students are remedial, there is no reason to do away with this program just because it’s not specifically a stem program for primary schoolers. cc students need assistance and a chance at a better outlook too. and any student that is serious about education should be given an equal opportunity at success regardless if they are remedial young adults or young children several years away from college level. you can look out for your kids without dismissing older students and denying them this opportunity. especially since this program doesn’t deny your kids anything just by it existing. when your kids get to college level, a program like this could also save you and them money as well.

    • Objection

      but what you’re suggesting is to ignore the students that can benefit from this program and focus solely on the students that are early enough in their education not to be directly affected by this program.

      I’m not ignoring anyone. I’m just not agreeing to pay for adults college education. Adults should solve their own problems. I’m not asking anyone to do something I didn’t do. I worked and took out student loans and paid for college.

      even if i was to believe that 60% of cc students are remedial, there is no reason to do away with this program just because it’s not specifically a stem program for primary schoolers.

      The information came from U.S. News & World Report July, 2014. America needs to stop creating a society where adults depend on the government for everything. Food, healthcare, housing, and now a associate degree. I say no.

      Frederick Douglas said it along time ago, “It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.” I agree with Frederick Douglas. Adults have to be responsible for their own life.

    • Me

      sounds like we disagree on fundamentals. i believe the gov’t shouldn’t stop at helping children & that adults should be given a chance/help to turn their lives around and that there’s enough help available to help children also, but i can respect where you’re coming from. i still stand by my stance that since this program wouldn’t prevent what you want, it makes no sense to vote it down. you’ll notice that in fd’s quote, he doesn’t say that broken men SHOULDN’T be repaired just because it’s harder. helping one doesn’t hurt the other.

    • Objection

      What you call fundamental, I call responsibility. Paying for an adult’s education is the adult’s responsibility, not the taxpayers.

      What you call help, I call being lazy. I think adults who are asking other adults to pay for their college education are being lazy. They want a college education but don’t want students loans. The solution is to put the bill on another adult. I’m voting this idea down.

    • Me

      that’s all a disagreement on fundamentals in my eyes.

      for me to say no one should help pay for another adult’s education would mean i’d have to give back all the scholarships i got for college b/c that bill was paid by other people.

      plus to say that not taking out student loans equals lazy means all the students who don’t qualify for student loans (A LOT of students can’t get loans unless they have a cosigner so acting like all they have to do is apply for one & keep it moving is disingenuous) would get shut out of a college education just on the fact that they have thin credit. i can’t call anybody lazy that’s actively looking for a way to get a degree just like i can’t say that student loans are not lazy considering that’s a lot easier than working through school and saving up to pay for each course… especially knowing that not every college student pays back their loans either… that’s lazy & stealing.

      i do agree that college is an adult expense that should be managed by the adult that’s pursuing it, but i don’t agree that education is one of the tax draws that should be shut down. i’d sooner vote to get rid of the earned income credit that most americans benefit from which was only put in place as an incentive for folks to work. that to me is an example of getting something for nothing. & i bet if we got rid of the eic, we could pay for more than 2 yrs of cc for anybody that wants an education in this country. i happen to believe that education is on the same level as health. gov’t needs to care about both b/c they affect the stability of this society & economy. acting like education is a luxury results in us being less competitive on a global scale b/c only the well to do could afford it & know how to work it.

    • Who says we can’t have both? In regards to a STEM program, I have three engineering degrees, and the truth of the matter is that everyone is not cut out to be an engineer. As for vouchers for private school, just because a parent sends his/her child to a private school doesn’t mean their child is going to do any better than he/she (the child) would in public school. The child still has to put in the work. If he/she doesn’t, they are lucky to do average at best and it becomes a waste of taxpayers money. Moreover, if the solution was to put every struggling child in private school where are you going to find the money when many cities and municipalities can’t, won’t, and/or not willing to find the money to support public schools?

    • Objection

      Who says we can’t have both?

      I don’t want to do both. I don’t want to pay for an adults college education. I only want to pay for my two children college education. Adults should solve their own problems. 12 years of free public education is all a person deserves from our government.

      As for vouchers for private school, just because a parent sends his/her child to a private school doesn’t mean their child is going to do any better than he/she (the child) would in public school.

      The numbers tell a different story. At least I can say the children received a better education. President Obama sends his daughters to private school. Why can’t poor children have the same opportunity?

      Moreover, if the solution was to put every struggling child in private school where are you going to find the money when many cities and municipalities can’t, won’t, and/or not willing to find the money to support public schools?

      Public schools will do better if they have competition. Competition puts the fire under people’s feet.

    • Love.tweet.joi

      As for vouchers for private school, just because a parent sends his/her child to a private school doesn’t mean their child is going to do any better than he/she (the child) would in public school.

      I suppose it depends on the public school. Public schools in my area SUCK. Private schools in my area (and charter schools) are killing the game. See: Animo Inglewood.

  • This is actually good news and something that I wish was in the works when I was coming up. One of the things that I had hope that would be entertained in the future was to have actual vocational classes currently taught at the community college level to be taught at the High School level. However, this is even better because it could encompass other up and coming as well as newly developed curriculum such as mechatronics, solar panal installation, and other courses being taught in terms of nanotechnology applications. Now, if they can only 1.) overhaul middle school and teach current HS math and science classes at that level, and 2.) overall haul college engineering courses in making them more intuitive and hands on as well as application based and less focused on just cranking out quantified solutions to engineering problems the US might again move ahead of the pack.

  • K.C.

    Fine but how about those outstanding students who were heads of their class, stellar SATs, great grades who have to pay their way through college? Any break for them? Sorry, we need to look at the entire education system and how it is putting bright minds in debt for the rest of their lives. Looks like the only people getting breaks are the ones who got a D in English and nothing for the ones who got A’s but are mired in student loans. Let’s take care of the good kids too. I know there are bright minds in Community Colleges but let’s face it, the exceptional students are statistically considering expensive colleges they can no longer afford. We must care for our bright stars.

    • Me

      a student that makes straight a’s should be able to see the value in going to cc for FREE the first two yrs & then transferring to a bigger school for the last two yrs. that by itself would cut their debt in half. plus if the first 2 yrs of cc are free, then that means all those exceptional students that take college courses while in hs could do that for free too, which means they could graduate hs with 30 credits under their belt & no cost to their parents. assuming that the only folks that go to cc are d students is ignorant, short sighted, & judgmental just b/c folks don’t live the same walk of life as others. bright minds are not excluded from this program unless you stereotype them out of it.

    • Love.tweet.joi

      Yeah, but they shouldn’t have to. Do you know how far behind you will be junior year if you spend two years at some community colleges. Anyone at L.A. Southwest knows what I am talking about. Glorified highschool.

    • Me

      i went to a 4 yr university & took summer classes at the local cc for all my non-major courses to keep my costs low. when i got to my jr yr some of my hs classmates were transferring from that same cc that they went to full-time into my 4 yr university. a few of them were nurses who were able to get real nursing jobs that helped pay to finish the last 2 yrs they spent at my school thanks to them having that associates degree. i know everybody’s not the same ( i have one friend who spent 4 yrs off & on at cc trying to get his aa), but the point is making the 1st 2 yrs free opens up doors for resourceful students who know enough not to let the stigma of cc or their pride stop them from taking advantage of this kinda program. cc is perfect for getting all your core classes outta the way. i had the option to take college courses in hs but it wasn’t free & i was already on a savings plan for all the other costs that go towards college so i had to pass it up, but if it was free i know i woulda had at least a full yr of college courses completed by the time i graduated hs. & when you have extra credits that gives you the power to choose to either graduate early & save your money or stay the whole 4 yrs & take extra credits that could be applied to graduate level courses or professional certifications.

    • Love.tweet.joi

      Well, you’re just amazing that’s why :)

    • Me

      lol. i wish i was amazing. :)

    • K.C.

      I agree with you. I am responding to you and not any other troll. College is competitive so is the job market. Every early job I got was due to where I went to school. White kids know this. Your school gets you through the door through alumni programs and connections. Black kids are systematically kept out of this because they do not understand the power of networking as much as they should. Also, in all fairness, they do not have access to the connections that white kids do. This is the reason, going to a CC or two years is not always the best choice. Going to a renowned school considered a top university is infinitely more beneficial. Until we admit this, our kids will always get the short end of the stick. So, we must make it easier for bright students to have access to renowned schools. Where are the programs for them?

    • Objection

      President Obama came up with this idea to support the 11 million illegal immigrants in the U.S. If you promise people free stuff, they vote for you. Democrats are good at promising free stuff. If President Obama really cared about education, he would make strengthening the STEM programs in poor schools his first priority. It’s a shame computer science is not mandatory courses in school.

      If he really cared about education, he wouldn’t have taken away the voucher program in D.C. He takes away the program for poor kids, but sends his daughter’s to nice private school. Priceless!

  • Love.tweet.joi

    I hope that things get so bad that blacks are forced into a corner and start their own businesses. There’s no where to go but up.

    • Objection

      Things are that bad. Some African-Americans just haven’t realized it yet.