WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama on Thursday proposed making community college free “for everybody who is willing to work for it.”
The president planned to formally announce his plan during a visit today to Tennessee. He gave a preview in a videotaped message shot aboard Air Force One and posted on Facebook.
“It’s not 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 no details about how he would fund the program.
White House and Education Department officials planned a briefing later to discuss the president’s proposal.
“Put simply, what I’d like to do is to see the first two years of community college free for everybody who is willing to work for it,” the president said.
Last year, Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam signed into law a scholarship program that provides free community and technical college tuition for two years to the state’s high school graduates. About 58,000 of the state’s roughly 62,000 seniors have applied to participate this fall.