President Obama to Propose Free Community College Education; Will His Plan Include Tribal Colleges?

WASHINGTON— The White House Thursday released a video with that President Barack Obama made on Air Force One after he left Detroit on Tuesday. In the video, President Obama stated he will propose making two years of community college free for responsible students across America.

The president will make a formal announcement about his plan on Friday, January 9, 2015, at Pellissippi State Community College in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Information was not available on Thursday night whether or not his plan will include the 37 tribal colleges across Indian Country.

Under President Obama’s new proposal, students would be able to earn the first half of a bachelor’s degree, or earn the technical skills needed in the workforce — all at no cost to them.

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The requirements:

What students have to do: Students must attend community college at least half-time, maintain a 2.5 GPA, and make steady progress toward completing their program.

What community colleges have to do: Community colleges will be expected to offer programs that are either 1) academic programs that fully transfer credits to local public four-year colleges and universities, or 2) occupational training programs with high graduation rates and lead to in-demand degrees and certificates. Community colleges must also adopt promising and evidence-based institutional reforms to improve student outcomes.

What the federal government has to do: Federal funding will cover three-quarters of the average cost of community college. Participating states will be expected to contribute the remaining funds necessary to eliminate the tuition for eligible students.

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