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State of the Union Preview: “Free” Community College?

State of the Union Preview: “Free” Community College?

Entitlement—the “key to success!”

Today, President Obama unveiled a new plan to make two years of Community College free “to responsible students across America”—and it’s just as flawed as that knee-jerk gut reaction you just had told you it is.

So, the first two years of community college would be free “for anybody who’s willing to work for it.” He says it will help train a stronger workforce—but at what cost?

Under the proposed program, the federal government would cover three-quarters of the average cost of community college. The states would then have to cover the remaining tuition, meaning the bill would be paid in full for “eligible students.”

For the program to fit with Obama’s vision, community colleges would have to change their programs to fit educational standards that haven’t even been written yet (emphasis mine):

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 does a potential student have to do to qualify? Attend school at least half-time, maintain a 2.5 GPA (that’s a C+ average,) and “make steady progress” toward completing the program.

This is vintage Obama, and it feels like the kind of ploy a politician would use after being rendered legislatively impotent by a disastrous midterm cycle. If the states want to decide on an individual basis whether or not to offer reduced tuition for community college students, thats their prerogative. But using federal funds to create yet another coercive incentive program goes beyond the bounds of the duty or purpose of the federal government.

The good taxpayers of Twitter are less than thrilled with such a dramatic expansion of our entitlement culture:

If this was just a preview of what’s to come, I can’t WAIT to liveblog the full State of the Union address on January 20.

You can watch the full video of his remarks here.


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Insufficiently Sensitive | January 8, 2015 at 9:41 pm

Free Community College? When it’s not even in jail yet?

The lower class is subsidized. The upper class has disposable income. This will hurt the middle class.

I wonder at what point he will actually address causes, and end his progressive debasement of capital and labor. And that’s after 2 million Americans aborted annually. It’s unfortunate that Islamic terrorists do not enjoy the benefits of pro-choice, or rather that FEMENinists do. Anyway, Obama et al likes to create and treat symptoms for profit.

    MattMusson in reply to n.n. | January 9, 2015 at 8:27 am

    This will be hugely disruptive of our current Community College system. Students who have no business in college will flood the classrooms simply because it is free and they have few other options.

    The better the current system is – the more this will tear it down.

      Wow, schooling for those “who are willing to work for it”

      Anybody who listens to that tripe without an adverse physical reaction is a fucking moron.

      People, we have ALWAYS HAD a system where you can get all the education you want “if you’re willing to work for it.” It’s called a job, where you earn money, and then you use the money to pay for the education. Or a “loan” where you borrow the money and then you work to pay off the loan.

      It absolutely disgusts me that this country is populated by so many people who listen to the absolute drivel that comes out of this repugnant motherfucker’s lying mouth and then vote for him.

    This will especially hurt those of us (yes, myself included), who worked (actually worked) our own way through college and have the student loans to prove it.

    I did my first two years at a community college – with a high GPA and rock-solid attendance – before transferring all my credits (ALL of them) to a four-year school. I would have qualified for this if it had been available when I started school, but I had to pay full price. Will I get a re-imbursement? Or am I to be punished for doing things the “right” and traditional way, just a few years too early?

    If history is any guide, I’ll still be on the hook for my tuition/fee payments (plus interest!), while simultaneously paying for the next generation of the free-ride entitlement class.

    Thank you, 0bama!

Either the mathematical and logical law of supply and demand has been revoked, or he is hoping that the brittle economy he is building will first disintegrate somewhere else, somewhere unnoticeable to his constituents. I wonder when the next global “reset” will occur.

0B0LA-LAND … where free lunches truly do exist.

JimMtnViewCaUSA | January 8, 2015 at 10:38 pm

Can anyone attend or do you need to be in the country illegally to qualify?

    Not A Member of Any Organized Political in reply to JimMtnViewCaUSA. | January 9, 2015 at 2:34 pm

    Methinks you have to be illegal (like Obama) and a terrorist (also like………….but I repeat myself)…….

Do they still have the G.I. bill for education? Four years in the Army got me help with four years of college. My Dad, a WW II vet, went to college on the G.I. Bill. Lots of people do the service first and then get the benefit.

I am grateful for that help but a “free” education needs to require more than the ability to wade across the Rio Grande at low tide.

    “I am grateful for that help but a “free” education needs to require more than the ability to wade across the Rio Grande at low tide.”

    ^^ This. ^^

    This new program of “free” post-secondary education will do nothing to stem the tsunami of illegal immigrants flooding over the completely unsecured borders. Pair that with the executive “amnesty” and “pathway to citizenship”, and they’re making LOOOOONG lists of future Democrat voters.

Western civilization can’t erode quickly enough for Obama and his ilk, can it?

I graduated high school in 1957, and didn’t want to go to college back then. (Let alone that you’d need two languages, Latin. And, either French or German, to get in. I waited until I was 50.

Pasadena City College was wonderful! You just needed a @2 pencil to enroll. And, the first day of class (as I remember it), had people coming early just to get parking. And, classrooms were “standing room only.”

To thin the crowds teachers gave unbelievable tests right away. And, that’s what cleared the decks.

I remember saying to a cousin how wonderful all the professors were, and she told me that because it was Pasadena, Caltech just overflowed with people who wanted to teach. (But they have fewer students there.)

The physics professor (I had) told the class that Richard Feynman was a friend of his. And, because advanced physics students didn’t need the “simple stuff” … Feynman would come to his classes at Pasadena City College … and, “teach a few.”

Earned the credits to graduate with honors; and could’a gone to USC. But, to save money, I chose Cal State LA. (What a terrible school!)

Meanwhile, my son went to Harvey Mudd. And, from there was hired by Sony. And, later by Google.

The college you attend makes all the difference.

But when you’re 50 it’s not an issue.

I’m still amazed at the quality of the professors at Pasadena City College.

Obama can speechify all he likes while his ideas are nothing but PR stunts.

nordic_prince | January 8, 2015 at 11:32 pm

Zero, narcissist that he is, thinks he can just ride in on his Skittle-farting unicorn and decree these things. Community college (or any higher education, for that matter) cannot possibly be free: neither I, nor thousands of other adjuncts, instructors, professors, etc. will NOT work for free – not to mention all the expenses associated with a brick-and-mortar school. Simple as that.

When Zero means “free,” what he really means is that WE THE TAXPAYERS will foot the bill.

Moron. He is a total and complete oxygen thief.

What a load of BS! This moron of a president never had to work for anything and we see how that worked out. He doesn’t understand that if you don’t work for something and earn it, it has no value to you and has no learning moment in your life. Anyone who jumps on this bandwagon will expect the next handout when the complete the two years.

742 more days.

Propaganda 101.

Obama must see the a road ahead that is void of ANY opposition to his malignant plans – and he’s right.

Can the likes of Charles Krauthammer see NOW stupid it was to re-elect a corrupt wimp as the opposition Squeaker?

After a couple of years of “free community college”, perhaps I’ll actually find a cashier who knows how to count back change.

I need to start with an apology, I’m unable to listen to anything Dear Leader has to say – my blood pressure just can’t take the beating.

From what I’ve read his plans are totally unworkable. Just the other day a report came out about America being $18 Trillion dollars in debt. This leaves me with the impression that one of three things is happening. NASA has found an astroid composed of solid gold, or Dear Leader has found a new brand of smoke, or this is all smoke and mirrors for something else that Mr. Bojangles has planned. I would start looking around to see what’s going on in the courts. Perhaps Holder or Kerry are up to no-good again. Heck, for all I know, Obama has agreed to apologize to Native Americans and pull back the American border to where it was in 1815.

Free college for everyone? Not likely, so why even bring it up?


This just means that you and I are now going to pay for a passel of other people’s children to attend two years of soi disant “free” post secondary education – after which they will be just as unemployable as they would have been had they not bothered. Or possibly less employable, as most employers won’t want to spend the time, money, and frustration needed to overcome the Progressive nonsense they will have been taught.

He already set us on an inevitable path to ‘single payer’ National Health, now he sets a path to Federalize the college system. Setting ‘standards’ like Common Core, etc. Which will then be mandatory in K – 12 by obvious need (to prepare for the new college entry).


Midwest Rhino | January 9, 2015 at 7:35 am

So two more years to learn what they should have learned in high school, or junior high maybe. Thanks President Santa Claus … always giving the children presents, paid for by magic elves.

Instead of extending high school for two years, maybe let people work as an apprentice, replacing two wasted years of high school, if they are not well suited to class. Most people would be well served working a couple years BEFORE college anyway.

Let’s see. The local and state governments now pay for the bulk of the community college costs. Now the Federal govt wants’ to pay 3/4 of the tuition costs and the state pays the rest. So, the taxpayer is now on the hook to the Federal government for more taxes to pay for the tuition.

So, can the taxpayer expect their taxes at the local level to decrease since the Feds are picking up more of the tab? I don’t think so. When has any government willingly given up a revenue stream? And the state will probably raise taxes to cover its 25% share.

Why is the Federal government even involved in education? It is a state/local issue. Anyone else notice that the Federal government is expanding the “free” education from K-12 to pre-school to pre-K to all day K through 12 plus two years of college?

Look at what it will do to grades. Grade inflation will run rampant, because who will want to fail a student if that means ending their free ticket through college (or ending a funding stream to the college).

    randian in reply to Arby. | January 9, 2015 at 9:08 am

    If the feds want to pay 3/4 of CC costs you will see the community colleges do what universities did: massively raise tuition costs, professor salaries, and administrative bulk. Community college will become much less, not more, affordable if the Feds subsidize it because the colleges will capture that surplus not the students.

    Not A Member of Any Organized Political in reply to Arby. | January 9, 2015 at 2:42 pm

    It’s gonna be real funny when states start shutting down all their “Community” colleges!

theduchessofkitty | January 9, 2015 at 9:43 am

Considering that the true value of a Bachelor’s degree has been going down the drain over the years due to grade inflation, PC nonsense and the unwillingness of the universities to teach what students truly NEED TO LEARN in order to get jobs, this is not even half-way welcome.

In fact, knowing how hard it is to earn an Associate’s degree, what The One is doing to the its value is just plain murder.

Well the State of the Union address should have been renamed “The State of the DC Bubble Brigade” years ago.

It is getting to the point where I feel like every time this idiot opens his mouth there aught to be a Referee that runs on the screen throws a yellow flag and blows a whistle.

DINORightMarie | January 9, 2015 at 10:17 am

First – this is HIJACKING EDUCATION, a FEDERAL TAKEOVER of colleges, starting with the state college system!! This is STEP ONE in his plan to co-opt and take over higher-education, moving the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT to the driver’s seat over what, who, and how higher ed will be doled out in this nation!!!

Second, I posted this on my Facebook page, linked to the Politico article on this delusional horror-proposal:

Unreal. Unreal! Community colleges are already heavily subsidized, state-run institutions; students pay tuition, but at a DRASTICALLY REDUCED PRICE. And, without going on to get a bachelor’s degree, the student is UNEMPLOYABLE for anything higher than a manual-labor and/or low-wage job. We recently put our son through community college here in VA; it’s reasonable. The goal should be – WITHOUT the federal or state governments sticking their fingers into it – to get 4 year (and grad) universities to be LOWER-COST and BETTER INVESTMENTS. To do that: the federal government should be CREATING AN ECONOMIC ENVIRONMENT WHERE JOBS ARE EVERYWHERE, where JOB DEMAND EXCEEDS EMPLOYABLE SUPPLY!! Then — GET OUT OF THE WAY!! (Another reform would be to GET THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OUT OF FUNDING STUDENTS BY GIVING THEM LOANS THEY HAVE TO TAKE OUT TO PAY FOR TUITION, WHICH PARENTS FEEL COMPELLED TO TAKE OUT – AND THEY CAN’T BE REFINANCED!! There is NEVER a good thing when the federal gov’t gets into something. They inevitably bolix it up – or worse!)

This WILL be a nightmare.

Henry Hawkins | January 9, 2015 at 11:36 am

This won’t happen and Obama knows it. The ‘GOP War Against Women’ schtick didn’t work. With this nonsense, Obama is setting up a bit of bullshit for 2016. Obama proposes a freebie for young people, it can’t, shouldn’t, and won’t get congressional approval, and so, voila! You have The GOP War Against Youth.

Alternately, Obama could try this unilaterally via EO, which the GOP congress will oppose (one hopes), and so, voila! Same result, The GOP War Against Youth.

Bill Clinton was our first black president. Barack Hussein Obama is our first black santa claus.

Talk about pandering to Low Information Voters… the Liar-in-Chief chooses a medium that limits him to SIX SECONDS of video to deliver his message. It can’t get much more LOW INFORMATION than that.

Is everybody who voted for this moron not embarrassed yet?

    Henry Hawkins in reply to Paul. | January 9, 2015 at 4:00 pm

    It’s a trial balloon is why. If it receives the expected lib support and expected GOP opposition, expect a fuller bullshit session on it as part of the upcoming SOTU address.

Wow, a lot of 2 year schools have RN programs, so how comfortable are you with the nurse that is giving you your meds is trained at a free 2 year school. geez.

    Henry Hawkins in reply to Gremlin1974. | January 9, 2015 at 4:03 pm

    They still have to pass state nursing board exams, somewhat like an attorney state bar exam.

    Still, I’d expect a diminished program with ‘inclusive’ admission policies (think affirmative action by other means) and a shitload of nursing grads who cannot pass the state exam.

LOL, yea but you know the progressive answer to that, just look at our High Schools. No one is passing the exam means the exam is to hard and unfair so must be made easier.