Obama pushes for free community college

Cat Cavazos, Co-editor

Barack Obama. Say the name, and you’re sure to get a “lively” conversation at your next social gathering. But no matter what your political stance is, one thing crosses all boundaries and political parties, something that many have to deal with at one point or another.

College. More so, the route to paying for college. And in the president’s recent State of the Union address, Obama presented a proposal that could potentially benefit thousands of young students who are tearing their hair out due to financial burdens.

For two years, if a person is willing to work for it, he will receive free community college, without any loans to worry about or debt to pay. Obama also made sure to insist that“this is not two years free of goofing off” and that a student has to earn the reward, “working for it” meaning keeping GPA’s up and graduating on time.  The plan “carries a 10-year $60 billion price tag,” but includes both federal and state components.

However, as with any new political proposal, some are opposed and will make their voices heard. Opposition to this plan include the news magazine “The Atlantic” commenting on the dire community college statistics, saying that “just 20 percent of community college students actually graduate” and “only 15 percent who start out at community college earn a bachelor’s degree in six year’s time” which is where the requirements to receive these benefits and the hard work factor come in. The plan is geared toward those that truly want to graduate and who attend classes and everything that they can to further their education.

Another interesting argument, however, posed an thoughtful question: Wouldn’t free college lower the worth of a university degree?

The answer would be no. Countries all over Europe offer students all four years of college for free some countries even giving enrolled students a $500 spending budget for books, food, and other necessities.  A college degree is just as valuable as ever. Germany, one of the countries offering these privileges, has an unemployment rate of about 4.9 percent while the United States stands at around 5.8 percent.

Obama’s approval rating has fluctuated over the past couple years, because with an all-Republican Congress, nothing has been getting done in Washington. The Senate has been too busy trying to fight a Democrat rather than try to get anything accomplished. But with this plan, young students could actually come first, a new beginning for this country. And according to The Huffington Post, “This could be a game-changer in poor communities where the youth are used to a concrete ceiling, not a glass one.”