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By Paul Bradley  /  
2015 January 19 - 10:27 pm

Coming Feb. 2: Free College For All

Higher Ed Leaders Weigh in on President Obama's Proposal for Free Community College

Mindful of the potential political obstacles, Obama administration officials said they wanted to start a conversation about higher education when they announced an initiative that would guarantee free community college to all Americans. Mission accomplished. Ever since the president traveled to Pellissippi Community and Technical College in Tennessee to announce the “America’s Promise” program, the plan has been squarely in the media spotlight, attracting attention for all quarters of the political spectrum. Democrats and community college leaders love it. Republicans and conservatives dismiss it as a hollow political ploy. But even as the conversations continue, details about the plan remain elusive. Is this another middle class entitlement that neglects poor students who could benefit the most from financial aid? Would resources be better directed at the colleges themselves, which have been starved of resources since the start of the recession? Will the states, which would pay for 25 percent of the $60 billion program, get on board? What about other sectors of higher education? We take a look at Obama’s proposal, including what he says during his State of the Union address on Tuesday night, and ask community college thought leaders what they think of this proposal.


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