The White House has an important message to share with students, one that appears on its Facebook page: President Barack Obama would like to make the first two years of community college free, but people have to be willing to "work for it” and "do their part," Obama pointed out in a Facebook video. The White House included the hashtag “FreeCommunityCollege.”
The post quickly garnered more than 75,000 likes and over 35,500 shares. Of course, it inspired thousands of Facebook users to comment. While some praised the commander-in-chief for his new proposal, others condemned the plan and the potential tax hike that could accompany it. With more than 1 million views, the post certainly got the nation’s attention, or at least the attention of those who use social media.
Meanwhile, many of the details that would be needed for such a plan were not shared. "With no details or information on the cost, this seems more like a talking point than a plan," Cory Fritz, press secretary for House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, told the Associated Press. Federal funding would cover 75 percent of the proposal and the states would pay for the remaining 25 percent, the Los Angeles Times noted.
White House Domestic Policy Council Director Cecilia Munoz told The Hill that college education for all is something that both parties would find intriguing. “Making sure students have access to higher education and the skills that they need is not a partisan proposal,” she said.
“Put simply, what I’d like to do is to see the first two years of community college free for everyone who’s willing to work for it,” Obama said in the Facebook video. “It’s something we can accomplish, and it’s something that will train our workforce so that we can compete with anybody in the world.”
Students would have to “do their part” by maintaining a 2.5 GPA, or C+, attend at least half-time and “make steady progress toward completing their program.” In order for a community college to be eligible, the credits would have to transfer to a four-year college or university, Politico added. Obama’s new plan could help 9 million students every year, while saving them an average of $3,800, if all the states agreed to the proposal.
One of the specifications in the proposal is beneficial for those who have been out of high school for some time. "It's not just for kids," Obama said. "We also have to make sure that everybody has the opportunity to constantly train themselves for better jobs, better wages, better benefits."
“I hope we’ve got the chance to make sure that Congress gets behind these kinds of efforts to make sure that even as we rebound and grow in 2015, that it benefits everybody and not just some,” the president said in the clip.
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