President Barack Obama disclosed a new proposal on January 8, dubbed America’s College Promise, to make two years of community college free for students who maintain good grades.
If every state chooses to participate, the plan could help 9 million students save an average of $3,800 a year, according to Newsweek.
“No one with drive and discipline should be denied a college education simply because they can’t pay for it,” Obama said when he announced his proposal. “A college degree is the surest ticket to the middle class.”
The proposal, modeled after a Tennessee program called the Tennessee Promise, requires students to have a mentor for school purposes, perform eight hours of community service per term, and maintain a 2.0 GPA. To be eligible for the program, community colleges have to adopt “promising and evidence-based reforms” to improve student outcome. Community colleges should also offer academic programs that can transfer credits to public four-year colleges and universities.
Under Obama’s plan, which the president emphasized during his January 20 State of the Union address, both federal and state funding would be used for the program. Yet Congress has to pass the proposal first.
People interviewed for this article expressed generally positive views on Obama’s proposal.
“I think this is a great plan,” North Hollywood High School senior Richard Wang said. “People who may not have the financial means could attend and concentrate on education.”
Dabin Lim, freshman at Cerritos College, also views this proposal as essential for everyone to have an education.
“I’ve seen several of my friends really passionate about learning have to drop out of school because they could not afford it,” Lim told JSR. “I’m glad I could see those friends again able to learn without anything holding them back.”