Students react to Obama’s plan for paying for college

By Davey Smith

President Obama
President Obama

President Barack Obama made a nearly unprecedented proposal recently, stating that teens just graduating from high school should not have to pay for community college.

Obama proposed a plan to allow students two free years of college at a community college, such as HCC.

This proposal has evoked mixed reactions, for good reason.

The plan would cost an estimated $60 billion, a quite substantial amount, reportedly to be raised by taxing the rich.

Regardless of who pays for it, college students would seem to be the ones who would favor this the most.

This is natural, as they will be the ones to benefit immediately. Surprisingly, many students question this.

This would, in theory, require maintaining a 2.5 GPA in order to receive free college. This would essentially mean not more than half of one’s classes could have a C or below.

This requirement would make sure that, even though free, a student would need to work to maintain it.

Ian Williams, Hutchinson, thinks that free college for everyone is a bad idea.

“No, no, no, no. That’s terrible,” he said when asked about it.

Elaborating on this, he said that it is already easy enough to get money for community college, through Pell grants and scholarships.

He said he’d rather pay for his college once than continue paying for it in taxes for 40 years.

Megan Schroeder, Sterling, said there are pros and cons, as it would be nice to have books and other fees covered that cost a decent bit.

But she also thinks that more scholarship money would be a better answer, forcing students to work a little bit more for their education.

Joshua Richards, Hutchinson, also disapproves of the plan.

“I do not believe that junior colleges should be free to students,” Richards said. “When there is no form of sacrifice, like money, there will be no real desire to do well or move on.”

“If someone is willing to put forth the effort to find ways to go to school, either through scholarships or something else, then they have earned the right to go to school and pay less out of their pockets,” he said.

Everyone should be given the chance to continue on in their education, but if they are not willing to put forth the effort to do well and make it through, then they miss out on many opportunities, he said.

Despite the advantages of this plan for college students, a number of students did not approve of the proposal.

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