President Barack Obama is championing education this year with a new proposal to make community college tuition free for students who earn good grades and stay on track to graduate.
“Keep in mind 40 percent of our college students choose community college,” said Obama at the State of the Union Address to Congress on Jan. 20. “Whoever you are, this plan is your chance to graduate ready for the new economy without a load of debt.”
If approved, the initiative would have a few requirements for students to be eligible like being at least a part-time student that maintains a 2.5 GPA.
“I am confident this initiative will make a tremendous difference in college completion and further improve our nation’s economy by creating a skilled workforce for new jobs,” said Eduardo J. Padrón, president of Miami Dade College. “ The cost of college should not be A barrier to college completion when desire and good performance exist.”
Students at MDC have varying opinions on the President’s proposal. Some believe that the proposal will ultimately enhance the learning environment.
“Everyone should have the opportunity to get an education,” said North Campus student Maried Rebon. “If they’re coming, it’s because they want to get an education and I feel like that would even make the class better because you have more people engaged in it.”
Others believe that sacrifices need to be made in order to achieve a higher education.
“Students would come in for a free ride and probably abuse the fact that it’s supposed to be higher education,” said Tee Mondesir, student at North Campus. “If you want to advance yourself, and get a better pay then you should be able to make some type of sacrifice.”
Although the plan is still short on details, students all agree that the resources to pay for tuition has to come out of someone’s pocket.
“Honestly, I think it’s a good idea, the only thing I’m wondering is how it will be paid for,” said student Justin White. “You can’t have one thing without having another, so I would be alright, if it came out of our taxes.”
Nicholas Perez a student at North Campus disagrees with the continuation of using taxes for education. “Tax money should go to something more important like the army or other community resources.”
The proposal will go to Congress to decide what will be the price of community college.
“College leaders have been advocating for such a proposal for some time,” Padrón said.
“I hope that Congress gives it serious consideration.”