- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 8, 2015

President Obama will propose Friday making two years of community college free for “responsible” students.

In video posted by the White House on Thursday, Mr. Obama said he wants Congress to approve funding for the plan, which could benefit up to 9 million students per year at an average tuition cost of $3,800.

“What I’d like to do is to see the first two years of community college free for everybody who’s willing to work for it,” Mr. Obama said. “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.”

He will present details of the proposal Friday during a trip to Pellissippi Community College in Knoxville, Tenn. The proposal is a part of a preview of Mr. Obama’s State of the Union address scheduled for Jan. 20.

Under the plan, students with a C-plus average who attend school at least half-time and who are making “steady progress” toward their degree would qualify for two years of free tuition at taxpayer expense.

White House officials said it would propose that federal funding cover three-quarters of the tuition, and states pick up the rest of the cost.

“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.

Cory Fritz, a spokesman for Speaker John A. Boehner, said of the proposal, “With no details or information on the cost, this seems more like a talking point than a plan.”

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