On Friday, Jan. 9, President Barack Obama, speaking to an audience at a community college in Tennessee, revealed a plan by which he hopes to make community college free for American students. The plan would use federal funding to make at least two years of community college available to every student able to maintain a 2.5 grade point average (GPA).
The Campanile would like to fully express its support for the President as he pursues this goal. We agree with the President that college education is the key to improving the quality of life of many American families, and at a time when college tuitions, textbook prices and every cost associated with higher education seems to be increasing, free community college would open up the possibility of a degree to underprivileged Americans throughout the nation.
The United States has one of the lowest growth rates globally in people graduating tertiary education and will lag behind other developed nations in the coming years. A more educated workforce would allow the United States to compete in international markets and increase its global stature. In order to compete with the European nations that completely subsidise higher education, funding community colleges are a step in the right direction.
Although the program would likely be expensive, in some estimates exceeding $80 billion, it is undeniable that the costs associated with it would be recouped in the wealth of newly qualified American graduates who would be able to earn more and contribute more in the domestic economy.
The decision by Obama also displays how in-touch he is with the citizenry. The youth has made it clear that education is an important focus going into the future, and we commend the President’s effort for government relevance in the lives of young adults.