Parenting Blog

President Obama’s Free Community College Plan is a Step in the Right Direction

I doubt that community college, as a concept, is a divisive issue (although, it being 2015 and this being the internet, nothing would surprise me). In case it is, know that I stand defiantly in the community college corner.

I love community college and believe that most every college-bound student should begin their college career at one. Here’s why going to a community college for the first two years makes so much sense:

  • Community college tuition is more affordable than even state run universities.
  • The knowledge, textbooks and, often, with adjunct faculty, the teachers are the same as you’ll find on the campus of a 4-year institution.
  • Most of the credits accumulated during the first two years of college are core requirements, not more intensive major specific classes.
  • Teens are afforded the time to take a more gradual step into adulthood and on-campus living, increasing their chances for success away from home.
  • The ability to live at home, work part time, and save money while still attending college will pay dividends for years to come.
  • Mistakes and failing grades are far less costly.
  • More time for kids to figure out what it is they want to be, study, and earn a degree in.
  • Their eventual Bachelor’s degree will STILL read the name of the ‘name’ school, the one their friends will recognize, the one with the division 1 sports program. Only, it will have cost a hell of a lot less. And now, maybe, even less than before.

On Friday, President Obama will officially announce a proposal to make the first two years of community college free to students who show a commitment to their studies as they steadily progress towards a degree program.

President Obama Free Community College Plan

I already know what you’re thinking: the new Republican-lead congress will fire a surface to air missile at this undoubtedly costly plan. Maybe, but know this: the GOP Governor of Tennessee’s similar free community college plan serves as the source of inspiration for the president’s. That sounds pretty bipartisan-ish to me.

The President’s plan will allow students of any age to study at a community college for free if they attend for at least half-time and maintain a 2.5 GPA. Doable requirements for many.

Much like the way people now view employment (transient vs. stationary) and the way we save for retirement (self-directed vs. pension), a lot will eventually change about the way kids go to college and the college tuition structure in this country. President Obama’s free community college plan is a step in the right direction.

Read more about the President’s free community college plan on Politico.

What do you think of community college in general and the President’s new plan to give the first two years to students for free?

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