What are your thoughts about Barack Obama promising two years of “free community college” for any student who maintains a “C” average? The results of this promise comes at the expense of the tax payers? My first thought was “What is he thinking? He has real nerve to ask me to pay college expenses for anyone who desires the community college experience!” My husband and all six of our children paid their own college expenses by scholarships, grants, loans, or work. Each of them has great appreciation for what they accomplished and the knowledge they did it by themselves. In spite of all this, each of my children plans to help their own children and do so by helping them save money for college.
Lindsey Burke of The Heritage Foundation is not in favor of Mr. Obama’s idea: “The administration’s proposal begs certain questions. Low-income students already have access to federal Pell Grants, which can be used to finance their tuition obligations at a community college. Indeed, the number of Pell recipients has doubled since 2008. So the proposal will serve as little more than a federal handout to the community college system.
“And it’s a system that hasn’t exactly produced stellar outcomes. Just 20 percent of students who begin community college each year complete their program within 150 percent of the standard time, according to the U.S. Department of Education….”
Ms. Burke quoted Neal McCluskey at the Cato Institute: “According to the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, only 20 percent of community college students transfer to four-year schools, and only 72 percent of those will have finished or remained enrolled four years later. So, from what we can tell, we are looking at completion for just around 34 percent of community college students.”
These two quotes show that most of the students at community colleges fail to complete their education for one reason or another. If the public is paying the cost of community college, how many people will go for the “college experience” without any intention of getting an education? I simply do not like the idea!
I thought this administration was all about “fairness.” How can Mr. Obama consider this idea to be fair when millions, possibly even billions of students have paid their own way through college only to have to turn around and pay the college costs for other people? How will it help today’s college students when community college costs began to soar simply because the government got involved in education?