President proposes plan for free community college tuition

President proposes plan for free community college tuition

Earlier this month, President Obama proposed a $60 million plan that would enable individuals to attend up to two years of community college free of charge.

Immediately, many curious individuals at home watching President Obama may have wondered, “Why wasn’t this thought of sooner ?”

The plan, which would take place over 10 years would give states the freedom to opt-out .  In turn, states that chose to opt-in would have to raise graduation rates.Which were a meager 20 percent for two year institutions according to a 2012 study by the U.S. Department of Education.Aside from this, states would be required to make credits more easily transferable to four year universities as well as restructuring curriculum to teach students skills that are more easily applicable in the professional world.

The proposal which he announced Jan. 8, 2015, would pay the first two years of tuition. Students in turn would have to be at least half-time students and keep a minimum grade-point average of 2.5.Which to me seems like a low-risk, high reward situation.

“Education is the key to success in the 21st century,” said President Obama during his public address aboard Air Force One earlier this month. This is especially true in the current professional atmosphere where associates degrees are seen as near equivalents to a high school diploma to prospective employers.

This puts many at a disadvantage because those associates degrees no longer hold weight in the real world and for those who can’t afford it, a bachelors is almost unthinkable due to the cost.

The applicant has nothing to lose as long as they put in the time and effort. In fact, the  financial benefits are astounding. According to a 2012 study by the Pew Research Center, the median annual income of a college graduate with at least a bachelors almost doubled that of a high school graduate of the same age.

In theory,this proposal would entice more high school graduates to attend college, especially those coming from lower-income demographics. In a 2012 study by the Pew Research Center it was shown that only about fifty percent of low-income high school graduates went on to attend either a two or for year college.

But, why limit graduate success stories to a select few when there exist the opportunity of making this dream attainable to any one of us who is willing to work for it? This proposal would allow individuals to make the most of their academic potential without the major stress of being unable to finance it.

This proposal would benefit the millions of individuals who choose to attend. Due to the fact that many community college attendees work part time jobs. These individuals could in turn use any money attained through scholarships and grants on living expenses that they might have gone without due to the cost of attending school.

Better education would enable those seeking employment to compete with one another in what has become a cutthroat professional world.

From an employers point of view, a surplus of qualified applicants is undeniably better than the price of training or even worse,firing an untrained employee.

This proposal sounds like a no-brainer from a practical point of view. It’ll allow those living in less than favorable circumstances, the ability to obtain a higher education consequently giving them a higher chance of success if and when they join the work force.

Unless hell freezes over, I do not see this being anything more than proposal. Especially, with the political back and forth that is bound to ensue between both parties. The Republican majority house will argue that this past year 15 percent of the federal budget was already geared towards education and anything more would be overdoing it. Especially, with no resolute data that the intended objectives could be accomplished.

This may cause those bound to unfortunate circumstances such as impoverished high school graduates, single moms, and military veterans to end up on the short end of the stick. Which in the end is the most heartbreaking of tragedies because we are depriving hard-working and willing Americans the opportunity to better the quality of their lives as well as those around them.

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