Pres. Obama proposes free community college for all - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Pres. Obama proposes free community college for all

President Obama announced a new plan to make college affordable to millions of Americans. President Obama announced a new plan to make college affordable to millions of Americans.
CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - President Obama announced a new plan to make college affordable to millions of Americans.

In a tease ahead of his State of the Union Address, Obama said he wants to see "... the first two years of community college free for anybody who is willing to work for it.

The White House said it expects 9 million students to participate and save nearly $4,000 a year for two years.

Kimberly Blissett is a counselor at Scott County Central High School.

She said this proposal would open another door for kids who might have though college wasn't an option.

Some parents, though, are a little more skeptical, wondering where the money to fund this program would come from.

"Any break we could get would be outstanding," parent Eric Duck said. "Again, it's just we have to find the responsible way to pay for it. I think in the end it would pay for itself with a better educated country."

Jill Essner said she and her husband have taken on the debt from all three of their children's tuition bills.

She said that is no cheap task and will even mean a later retirement.

Essner believes this proposal could not only make college more affordable, but help educate more of the population.

"It's a big debt for kids to start out and if they get going and they take out x-amount of loans and it gets to be too much of a financial burden then they drop out of college so to speak and not complete it and then they still have to pay that big debt and still not have the education to get a better job," Essner said.

Wesley Payne, president of Three Rivers Community College, said any move towards making college cheaper is a good idea.

Payne said the proposal falls in line with the mission community colleges already strive to meet--making college accessible at a low cost.

He said the concept could increase the country's employability and productivity.

However, there are still a lot of questions like how would this be funded and what would be sacrificed.

The president will likely talk about it more during his State of the Union Address later this month.

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