President Obama proposes free community college2 min read

President Obama proposes free community college

Alejandra Cabrera, Staff Writer

President Obama made a bold move on Jan. 8 when he submitted a proposal to provide free tuition for community college students.
The proposal requires a loose budget of $60 billion over the course of a decade, according to CNN. That number is definitely subject to change over the course of the program.
The funds will cover all tuition costs up front, meaning financially needy students will be able to receive Pell Grants and financial aid while also benefiting from free tuition, according to Inside Higher Ed.
If this proposal passes, the federal government would pay 75 percent of tuition costs while the participating states would pay the remaining 25 percent.
While the proposal sounds like the key to every struggling community college student’s dreams, there are quite a few glaringly obvious problems with the proposal itself.
If the past is any indicator of present times, the chances that the proposal will pass through U.S. Congress is close to nothing.
Towards the early days of the Obama administration, the president proposed a 2009 budget request for $12 billion in new support for community colleges that did not pass until it eventually became $2 billion in job-training grants to community colleges, according to Inside Higher Ed.
Twelve billion pales in comparison to the hefty $60 billion proposed budget Obama proposed and there is virtually no way to supply free tuition for community college students with a lower budget.
Sixty percent of the cost of community college isn’t paid through tuition, but through federal, state and local government aid, according to CNN.
Tuition is only 40 percent of the fees that community colleges pay for while enrolled. While some students may say that government paying 40 percent of college costs is better than nothing, the truth is that with a proposal that will cost the federal government and states $60 billion, students should be expecting a whole lot more.
The whole concept sounds pretty great, but in all honesty, the proposal does not stand any chance of going through Congress and Obama should focus more on making community college more affordable as opposed to allocating a large amount of money to free tuition.