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Thu Jan 8, 2015, 08:58 PM

Obama Proposes Free Community College Program

Source: ABC

The White House on Thursday announced a proposal that President Barack Obama said would make community college "free for everybody who is willing to work for it." But administration officials provided no details about the program's costs or where the money would come to pay for it.

Obama planned to formally announce the plan Friday at Pellissippi State Community College in Knoxville, Tennessee. He gave a preview in a videotaped message shot aboard Air Force One and posted on Facebook.

"It's not just for kids," Obama said. "We also have to make sure that everybody has the opportunity to constantly train themselves for better jobs, better wages, better benefits."

Obama provided few specifics, and White House and Education Department officials on a conference call with reporters Thursday evening said the funding details would come out later with the president's budget.

Read more: http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory/obama-propose-free-community-college-program-28098580



More here on the topic (my thanks to DonViejo!):

Obama Proposes Free Community College Education for Some Students

WASHINGTON — President Obama will announce Friday that the federal government will work with states to waive the first two years of community college tuition for some students.

If states go along, the program would cover full-time and half-time students who maintain a 2.5 grade point average and “make steady progress toward completing a program,” the White House said in a fact sheet released Thursday night.

The federal government would cover three-quarters of the average cost of community college for those students, the White House said.

<>

Mr. Obama, in the video, said that if the program was carried out, “it’s something that will train our work force so that we can compete with anybody in the world.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/09/us/politics/obama-proposes-free-community-college-education-for-some-students.html?emc=edit_na_20150108

65 replies, 6207 views

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Arrow 65 replies Author Time Post
Reply Obama Proposes Free Community College Program (Original post)
herding cats Jan 2015 OP
d_r Jan 2015 #1
whathehell Jan 2015 #2
davidsilver Jan 2015 #3
duhneece Jan 2015 #19
PoliticAverse Jan 2015 #4
Cha Jan 2015 #5
uhnope Jan 2015 #7
Fred Sanders Jan 2015 #9
herding cats Jan 2015 #25
herding cats Jan 2015 #23
uhnope Jan 2015 #6
SharonAnn Jan 2015 #18
uhnope Jan 2015 #24
NewDeal_Dem Jan 2015 #29
unrepentant progress Jan 2015 #8
KoKo Jan 2015 #10
AngryDem001 Jan 2015 #32
VanillaRhapsody Jan 2015 #11
7962 Jan 2015 #12
VanillaRhapsody Jan 2015 #16
pnwmom Jan 2015 #13
Recursion Jan 2015 #26
pnwmom Jan 2015 #27
NewDeal_Dem Jan 2015 #30
NobodyHere Jan 2015 #33
NewDeal_Dem Jan 2015 #34
Recursion Jan 2015 #38
musicblind Jan 2015 #43
jamzrockz Jan 2015 #47
F4lconF16 Jan 2015 #51
Non-Automatic_Belief Jan 2015 #14
TBF Jan 2015 #15
Purveyor Jan 2015 #17
PoliticAverse Jan 2015 #28
Purveyor Jan 2015 #36
Calista241 Jan 2015 #59
bhikkhu Jan 2015 #20
workinclasszero Jan 2015 #21
redruddyred Jan 2015 #22
NewDeal_Dem Jan 2015 #31
davidpdx Jan 2015 #35
redruddyred Jan 2015 #63
PersonNumber503602 Jan 2015 #50
F4lconF16 Jan 2015 #52
tammywammy Jan 2015 #57
redruddyred Jan 2015 #62
shanti Jan 2015 #65
czarjak Jan 2015 #37
grahamhgreen Jan 2015 #39
Android3.14 Jan 2015 #40
geretogo Jan 2015 #41
Adrahil Jan 2015 #42
Gidney N Cloyd Jan 2015 #44
Xithras Jan 2015 #45
Brother Buzz Jan 2015 #46
Xithras Jan 2015 #56
yurbud Jan 2015 #48
yurbud Jan 2015 #49
Android3.14 Jan 2015 #53
upaloopa Jan 2015 #54
Yo_Mama Jan 2015 #61
Tatiana Jan 2015 #55
Blue_Tires Jan 2015 #58
Yo_Mama Jan 2015 #60
jtuck004 Jan 2015 #64

Response to herding cats (Original post)

Thu Jan 8, 2015, 09:02 PM

1. it is in Tenn.

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Response to herding cats (Original post)

Thu Jan 8, 2015, 09:04 PM

2. Sounds like a great idea. n/t

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Response to herding cats (Original post)

Thu Jan 8, 2015, 09:05 PM

3. Thank you Mr President

 

This is long overdue and will help future students to keep their debt down should they decide to go on to a four year college later.

I hope the Teapublicans will do the decent thing and fund this important program.

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Response to davidsilver (Reply #3)

Thu Jan 8, 2015, 10:55 PM

19. Yes, yes, yes

Helping our communities.

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Response to herding cats (Original post)

Thu Jan 8, 2015, 09:06 PM

4. Video of Obama's statement on Air Force One.

https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10153120229619238&set=vb.63811549237

Note the formal announcement will be tomorrow (Friday, Jan 9th) in Tennessee.

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Response to herding cats (Original post)

Thu Jan 8, 2015, 09:20 PM

5. Thank you, President Obama.. thank you, too, herding cats!

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Response to Cha (Reply #5)

Thu Jan 8, 2015, 09:22 PM

7. +1

 

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Response to Cha (Reply #5)

Thu Jan 8, 2015, 09:28 PM

9. Herding cats....good one...that is what it is with this new 9% approval Congress..someone please make a cartoon...

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Response to Fred Sanders (Reply #9)

Fri Jan 9, 2015, 12:11 AM

25. I'm taking this as a complement to my moniker.

Initially, it had more to do with my personal experience wrangling Democrats in local races, but I like your interpretation, too.

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Response to Cha (Reply #5)

Fri Jan 9, 2015, 12:02 AM

23. I'm just reporting the news.

Which I wouldn't have done as well without the help of the help of another DUer. I appreciate your thanks all the same, though!

This has potential to be something good, very good even. I want to see it come to pass in all our states! Our youth are our future, and education should be something which should be within the reach of everyone who desires to explore the option.

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Response to herding cats (Original post)

Thu Jan 8, 2015, 09:21 PM

6. as it was supposed to be

 

people forget that the community college system was all but free when it started. Then....Reagan

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Response to uhnope (Reply #6)

Thu Jan 8, 2015, 10:51 PM

18. My dad went to community college (free), UC Berkeley (very low cost), and worked his way through med

school (imagine doing that now) and only borrowed money from family when he was in his surgical residency. Residents were paid very little back then and he had a family to support.

Imagine that. Started from nothing and got all the way through medical school debt free with no family support and no loans.

Unimaginable now.

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Response to SharonAnn (Reply #18)

Fri Jan 9, 2015, 12:07 AM

24. mid-80s was about the cut-off

 

up to then, you could get a college degree without going into debt. Tuition started to skyrocket after that

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Response to uhnope (Reply #24)

Fri Jan 9, 2015, 01:02 AM

29. Reagan again. I did two masters degrees debt free. combination of savings,

 

student job, teaching assistantship, summer job

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Response to herding cats (Original post)

Thu Jan 8, 2015, 09:25 PM

8. "We also have to make sure that everybody has the opportunity to constantly run the hamster wheel."

There, I fixed the Obama quote.

Free college is a laudable idea, except for all the economic myths Obama was perpetuating.

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Response to herding cats (Original post)

Thu Jan 8, 2015, 09:38 PM

10. If Germany can make it's Own Colleges Free for Students ....than Why Can't USA?

Particularly for the the Tech Community Colleges.

Let them FIND THE MONEY. Take it out of the Damned War/Surveillance Budget!

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Response to KoKo (Reply #10)

Fri Jan 9, 2015, 01:44 AM

32. No! No! No!

We need MAOR WAR!!!

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Response to herding cats (Original post)

Thu Jan 8, 2015, 09:38 PM

11. The Doom and Gloomers will be here shortly to explain to us why this is just a TERRIBLE idea...

 

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Response to herding cats (Original post)

Thu Jan 8, 2015, 09:44 PM

12. This is just a TERRIBLE idea!!!! (Thats just for you ^^^^^^!!) :)

 

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Response to 7962 (Reply #12)

Thu Jan 8, 2015, 10:16 PM

16. I KNEW it!

 

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Response to herding cats (Original post)

Thu Jan 8, 2015, 09:58 PM

13. I think it should only require a 2 point average. Why should these students be required

to have an above average grade point, when most of them are probably working, too?

Otherwise, I think it's a good plan that would put us closer to the educational systems in Europe.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #13)

Fri Jan 9, 2015, 12:17 AM

26. Because 2.0 hasn't meant "average" in decades

Grade inflation

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Response to Recursion (Reply #26)

Fri Jan 9, 2015, 12:26 AM

27. And this would promote more grade inflation -- not a good thing. nt

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Response to Recursion (Reply #26)

Fri Jan 9, 2015, 01:15 AM

30. Even if true, so what? Why should only "average" and above students get free tuition?

 

Poor students should have to pay market rates, is that it?

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Response to NewDeal_Dem (Reply #30)

Fri Jan 9, 2015, 02:09 AM

33. If they can't put in the effort to get a 2.0

 

they shouldn't be in college, they're just wasting everyone's time and money.

Getting a 2.0 is very easy.

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Response to NobodyHere (Reply #33)

Fri Jan 9, 2015, 02:17 AM

34. as i understood it, the posters are talking about high school grades.

 

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Response to NewDeal_Dem (Reply #34)

Fri Jan 9, 2015, 04:06 AM

38. No, you have to maintain 2.5 in your classes at the community college

I think the argument is that anyone who isn't doing that is basically wasting time and money

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Response to Recursion (Reply #38)

Fri Jan 9, 2015, 03:05 PM

43. Exactly!

As someone who was on the dean's list in college, a 2.5 is nothing. Anyone can maintain a 2.5 in college as long as you pay attention and do the reading. If someone isn't willing to do that, then they shouldn't BE in college.

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Response to NewDeal_Dem (Reply #30)

Fri Jan 9, 2015, 04:56 PM

47. First of all

 

why do you assume that its the poor students who have the poor grades? Also 2.0 and below is basically failing grade on any campus. Rich, poor or whatever, if you cant get above 2.0, I dont think college is your thing.

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Response to jamzrockz (Reply #47)

Fri Jan 9, 2015, 05:41 PM

51. I think "poor" meant "bad", in this case.

Could be wrong, though.

As for your post, I somewhat agree.

It's really easy to have stress in your personal life or have something go wrong, or simply just need a bit more time to understand something. There are a lot of friends that have had a quarterly GPA under 2.5 and are fantastic students for their other quarters. I know I've had a quarter where I dropped below that. I think it should be a bit more lenient.

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Response to herding cats (Original post)

Thu Jan 8, 2015, 10:00 PM

14. I applaud that

 

Good cause.

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Response to herding cats (Original post)

Thu Jan 8, 2015, 10:10 PM

15. Excellent - a very good start! K&R nt

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Response to herding cats (Original post)

Thu Jan 8, 2015, 10:51 PM

17. I hope he can get this done with an executive order, otherwise... eom

 

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Response to Purveyor (Reply #17)

Fri Jan 9, 2015, 12:43 AM

28. No, it will require a bill passed by Congress. n/t

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Response to PoliticAverse (Reply #28)

Fri Jan 9, 2015, 03:17 AM

36. That's what I was afraid of. Doubtful it will happen then with this current congress. eom

 

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Response to Purveyor (Reply #36)

Sat Jan 10, 2015, 12:00 PM

59. What happened to the whole compassionate conservative meme?

Where conservatives said they cared about people? One would think this would be an awesome program for them to demonstrate that compassion.

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Response to herding cats (Original post)

Thu Jan 8, 2015, 11:19 PM

20. Oregon has a program that allows the first one or two years of community college free

I have a daughter taking advantage of it now. We have a fairly meager state budget, not very good employment or economic numbers, and some challenged schools, but it is working here.

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Response to herding cats (Original post)

Thu Jan 8, 2015, 11:59 PM

22. it's a good step, but not enough.

 

the "adequate progress" part is problematic.
that is to say, it doesn't cover students who have significant responsibilities outside of school: work, family, chronic illness.
finally, an AS is virtually useless in the job market, unless you are training for a very specific technical skill.
still, a good step.

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Response to redruddyred (Reply #22)

Fri Jan 9, 2015, 01:24 AM

31. An associates is *not* useless in the job market. For example, a friend's daughter

 

recently got a dental hygienist degree from a two year college. You can get a nursing degree and lots of medical degrees/certificates as well, e.g. radiation tech.

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Response to redruddyred (Reply #22)

Fri Jan 9, 2015, 03:07 AM

35. The credits would be transferable to a state college

So if one was doing a bachelor's degree the first two years would be debt free. Still that is much better than what we have now.

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Response to davidpdx (Reply #35)

Mon Jan 12, 2015, 01:21 PM

63. what we have now is so freaking bad

 

that obama's #makeccsfree hashtag seems like a brilliant political gambit.
the way we make people suffer in order to get an education is so fucking stupid.

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Response to redruddyred (Reply #22)

Fri Jan 9, 2015, 05:32 PM

50. I disagree that an AS degree is useless

First, if the schooling is good and someone learn real skills that help them further themselves, then it would be worth it even if they didn't get any credentials. I notice far too many people focus mostly on the paper they'll get, while forgetting the most important thing is learning. Also, an AS degree is often times plenty for people who have a strong drive and show promise. I've known plenty of useless people who had BS and MS degrees, but lacked passion for their field of choice, and didn't show any initiative outside of their structured schooling. Which meant their growth kind of stopped. For people who wish to go into fields that really require higher degrees, the credits they earn for their AS can be transferred to 4-year programs. At least with the AS they'd have a better shot at getting a job that pays enough so that they can afford to attend a higher program.

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Response to redruddyred (Reply #22)

Fri Jan 9, 2015, 05:41 PM

52. +1

"that is to say, it doesn't cover students who have significant responsibilities outside of school: work, family, chronic illness. "

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Response to redruddyred (Reply #22)

Fri Jan 9, 2015, 06:49 PM

57. They're only requiring part time studies.

That's only 2 classes a semester. And community college credits transfer to state universities. I know quite a few people that started at community college before transferring.

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Response to tammywammy (Reply #57)

Mon Jan 12, 2015, 01:18 PM

62. well that's a relief

 

wish some of the scholarships I've won over the years had been so flexible. seriously.

I started at community college before transferring. found I couldn't do it; didn't have the time or money. if you need the BS to get the job, wasting a lot of energy on junior college isn't a good investment.

this is a token gesture; cc's are already highly subsidized.

still, better than anything the republicans have recommended recently.

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Response to redruddyred (Reply #22)

Wed Jan 14, 2015, 04:26 PM

65. One of my sons

received his AA last year in culinary arts. However he plans to continue and get a BS in business admin/accounting, while cooking to pay the bills.

I finished 3 years of college, unfortunately dropping out because of family issues. It didn't affect my career though. When I retired, I was working at a job that now requires a BA. When I got the job, all I needed was a certain number of college credits and job experience (which I had). A coworker held the same position and only had a hs diploma. We both felt very lucky to have the jobs we did.

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Response to herding cats (Original post)

Fri Jan 9, 2015, 03:24 AM

37. You mean....

Providing education to advance the betterment of humanity? Guess who'll oppose this idea.

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Response to herding cats (Original post)

Fri Jan 9, 2015, 04:17 AM

39. Kudos.

 

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Response to herding cats (Original post)

Fri Jan 9, 2015, 07:37 AM

40. Great idea...seven years ago

 

Awesome idea, but, even though it would boost the economy, it has about as much chance of happenning as some kids opening a lemonade stand on the Sun.

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Response to herding cats (Original post)

Fri Jan 9, 2015, 02:11 PM

41. The Rethuglicons will work overtime to see nothing like this materializes . Two reasons are the

banksters will not be able to maximize profits off the poor and an educated poor person will not
support or pledge allegiance to the Rethuglicon party .

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Response to herding cats (Original post)

Fri Jan 9, 2015, 02:27 PM

42. That's good, but....

 

The quality of Academic instruction at Community Colleges is often substandard. Extend the offer to higher quality state schools!

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Response to Adrahil (Reply #42)

Fri Jan 9, 2015, 03:05 PM

44. I must disagree.

At 4-year institutions the 100 and 200-level classes are frequently taught by grad assistants or they're huge lecture classes. At community colleges you have a better teacher to student ratio and the non-vocational classes are generally taught by career educators.

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Response to herding cats (Original post)

Fri Jan 9, 2015, 04:02 PM

45. And in California, the gov recently signed a bill allowing CC'd to provide BA's.

15 California Community Colleges will be piloting the program.

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Response to Xithras (Reply #45)

Fri Jan 9, 2015, 04:29 PM

46. Wow, that flew under my radar

Jerry Brown approves community college bachelor’s degrees

29 September, 2014

In what could portend a monumental shift in public higher education in California, Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill Sunday that will allow up to 15 community colleges to launch bachelor’s degrees programs in vocational fields.

While 21 other states offer community college baccalaureates, California’s colleges have traditionally been the domain of transfer students and career technical education, granting two-year associate degrees, as established more than 50 years ago in the Master Plan for Higher Education. Senate Bill 850 will allow colleges to experiment with four-year degrees. The pilot program is set to begin no later than the 2017-18 academic year and end in 2024.

In recent years, advocates have argued that growing industry demand for more educated workers in fields such as dental hygiene and automotive technology could be met by expanding existing programs at community colleges.

“This is landmark legislation that is a game-changer for California’s higher education system and our workforce preparedness,” state Sen. Marty Block, D-San Diego, who authored the bill, said in a statement. “SB 850 boosts the focus of our community colleges on job training and increasing the accessibility and affordability of our state’s higher education system.”

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article2615016.html#storylink=cpy

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Response to Brother Buzz (Reply #46)

Fri Jan 9, 2015, 06:39 PM

56. The core idea behind it is interesting.

If it's adopted statewide, each community college would be able to create one or two BA level degree programs, with the idea being that they can serve the needs of their local community. I live in the Central Valley, so each community college around here might offer degrees in agriculture, viticulture, crop sciences, business, etc. Community colleges in the Sierras might offer degrees in forestry or hydrology. Along the coast, marine biology, fisheries management, etc. The idea is that each would offer a degree program in something that is particularly relevant to their own local population. CC's that already have large programs for things like nursing could also potentially expand them into four year programs (still limited to one or two degrees).

They're currently taking proposals from 15 community colleges interested in starting four year programs. After they start, each of the colleges will run a program for a while so that it can be evaluated in eight years or so. If the pilot programs are successful, it will be expanded to every community college in the state.

I personally like the idea. It makes higher education even more affordable for California students, while at the same time reinforcing the primary purpose of community colleges, which is to offer programs that benefit their local community and population.

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Response to herding cats (Original post)

Fri Jan 9, 2015, 05:21 PM

48. uh...why didn't he do this when Democrats had both chambers of Congress

and it had a chance of getting passed?

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Response to herding cats (Original post)

Fri Jan 9, 2015, 05:21 PM

49. I noticed in the Bush years, Dems can propose very good policies when they have no chance of being

enacted.

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Response to herding cats (Original post)

Fri Jan 9, 2015, 05:50 PM

53. Isn't that sweet

 

Maybe we'll see some some bipartisan support for this. After all, it makes sense for businesses, the economy, and the people. A total win-win situation for a capitalist society with a representative government. Maybe this will actually happen.

Then again, maybe bird shit will start tasting like powdered coffee creamer.

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Response to herding cats (Original post)

Fri Jan 9, 2015, 06:20 PM

54. How is it free if you work for it. I worked to pay for

junior college. Seems like you work and the money pays for school.

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Response to upaloopa (Reply #54)

Sat Jan 10, 2015, 12:52 PM

61. The costs of higher ed have risen dramatically - esp. in comparison to earning potential.

Years ago working your way through was a realistic option for most. Now it isn't.

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Response to herding cats (Original post)

Fri Jan 9, 2015, 06:25 PM

55. This is a great idea.

It has about zero chance of passage, but it would be a great step in the direction of helping families afford college. An associate's degree is two years/60+ hours toward a bachelor's degree. This would help a lot of working families with college-age students, as the financial benefit would be provided up front (so students can keep other aid they may qualify for).



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Response to herding cats (Original post)

Fri Jan 9, 2015, 07:07 PM

58. k+r

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Response to herding cats (Original post)

Sat Jan 10, 2015, 12:51 PM

60. GA has had a form of this. It's financed by the lottery.

https://www.gacollege411.org/Financial_Aid_Planning/HOPE_Program/Georgia_s_HOPE_Scholarship_Program_Overview.aspx

The academic requirements are more restrictive (3.0 GPA), but the coverage is broader - this also pays for four years at any GA university system member or any technical college (community colleges). There is also some coverage for privates.

But it's just for GA residents.

Our program dates back to Zell Miller.

If we want those with aptitude to have a chance at using their potential, we have to have some way of making it possible for those from less affluent backgrounds to access higher education. I know there are current federal student loan programs, but high costs and the difficulty in paying back the loans are a significant barrier to education for many.

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Response to herding cats (Original post)

Wed Jan 14, 2015, 02:08 AM

64. A Romney campaign worker was on a show Sunday night, (CBS news, Frontline? I don't

 

watch enough to remember).

Anyhow, the guy was decrying this plan and made the statement that "I don't care if some kid goes to college for free, we have real, important things..."

Now, this person was about 70, and he was one of the beneficiaries, either direct or indirect, of over 8 million veterans we paid to educate who we then loosed on a growing market, creating the economy that his bo$$ took advantage of to screw working Americans.

People forget we had nothing until we as a country invested in it and made it happen. Without it we die.

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