By Alexa Gonzales
President Obama announced his proposal to offer publicly funded community college education to students nationwide in a video posted to Facebook on Thursday evening.
The America’s College Promise proposal would make the first two years of community college free for students who maintain a 2.5 GPA and are willing to work to complete their program, whether it is an associate’s degree or halfway to a bachelor’s degree.
The community colleges of the states that choose to participate would have to meet specific academic requirements.
9 million students are estimated to benefit from Obama’s plan, saving an average of $3,800 in tuition each year.
The White House estimates that this plan would cost the federal government about $60 billion over a period of ten years, covering 75 percent of the costs, with the states paying the rest. Details on how the federal government intends to pay for this plan are yet to be given.
Obama has modeled his plan after a program in Tennessee called the Tennessee Promise, started by governor Bill Haslam, which offers free community college education to students for two years.
The plan has already received criticism and is expected to have opposition from Republicans in Congress. However, Obama intends to push through with his proposal, stating that American education “should not be a privilege that is reserved for a few.”
On Friday, President Obama will speak in Knoxville, Tennessee to elaborate on the America’s College Promise proposal.