Free community college? Obama proposal excites some, worries others

(Raleigh News & Observer) President Barack Obama’s dramatic proposal for free community college for Americans was met with both excitement and criticism Friday. He outlined his plan in a speech at a community college in Tennessee – a state that pays community college cost for residents with lottery money. Ninety percent of Tennessee high school graduates have applied for “Tennessee Promise,” the program launched by that state’s governor, Republican Bill Haslam. “Community colleges should be free for those willing to work for it,” Obama said. “Because in America, a quality education cannot be a privilege that is reserved for a few.” The program, dubbed “America’s College Promise,” would provide two years of free community college for students with at least a 2.5 grade point average making progress toward a two-year degree or a technical certificate in a high-demand field. It would cover tuition but not living expenses or other costs.

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