Obama proposes free community college

The White House

Sydney Grissom, Lead Reporter

A fundamental change in the education system was proposed Thursday by President Barack Obama, who wants to make community college free to students maintaining a 2.5 GPA, attending college at least half-time, and making steady progress toward finishing their program.

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

This program, if approved by Congress, could increase the trend of the growing number of students attending community college prior to a four-year school.

“Well there is a growing trend of students not just from Lovejoy, from all over the country really, who are enrolling at a two-year community college first before enrolling at the four-year destination college,” college counselor Randy Trevino said. “I think this particular program would further increase that population trend. I think it is cost-effective to do so anyway, and the amount of transfer scholarships to four-year schools are also increasing, so I think this really helps especially for the students who have to work in college or obtain a substantial amount of financial aid even at a two-year school like Collin.”

It is still unclear where the funding for this program would come from, however there have been speculations.

“I think it is a good plan, I would just be curious to see how they would fund it and what resources they would use to fund this education understanding that community college is not that expensive so it doesn’t have to be a gigantic national fund,” Trevino said. “I would just be curious to see where it is coming from. I have heard reports possibly of them coming from state lottery funds or something of that sort, I am just not completely sure.”

While some think this program would be good, others aren’t so sure.

“It makes it almost seem like it makes it more of a given out thing that we’re required to do rather than a choice,” senior Blake Herring said. “Community college is supposed to be about getting your basics out of the way and if it seems required then they aren’t even really basics anymore then it doesn’t feel like a head start.”

On the other hand, some students believe education should be within the reach of everyone and the program would be a step in the right direction.

“Honestly I think this is something good,” senior Christian Mendoza said. “Everyone should have an opportunity to go to at least two years of college. Then they can build off of that idea of what it’s like and then they can decide what they want to do with that experience.”