Pres. Obama Plans to Make Community College Free, Columbia Basin - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Pres. Obama Plans to Make Community College Free, Columbia Basin College in Support

Posted: Updated:
President Obama wants to make two years at community college as accessible as high school for millions of Americans. President Obama wants to make two years at community college as accessible as high school for millions of Americans.

NBCRightNow.com - President Obama wants to make two years at community college as accessible as high school for millions of Americans.

He says the new plan would help better train the workforce and improve U.S. competitiveness with other countries.

Details have not been laid out yet but a representative at Columbia Basin College in Pasco says they are on board and fully support the President's plan. 

"I'm announcing an ambitious new plan to bring down the cost of community college tuition in America. I want to bring it down to zero," President Obama said in Tennessee Friday. 

Obama says his new plan would make community college free.

But students would have to maintain a 2.5 grade point average and attend classes at least halftime

"Because in America quality education cannot be a privilege that is reserved for a few. I think it's a right for everybody willing to work for it," President Obama said. 

Federal funding would cover three quarters of the cost and states wanting to participate would be pay the rest.

The White House says the program will cost the federal government around $60 billion over 10 years.

Details about where that money will come from will be released next month. 

Meanwhile Frank Murray, a representative with Columbia Basin College says they stand behind the plan. 

"I'd say it's an investment in our community and in our state, and in our country, and we fully support it," Murray said. 

A year at Columbia Basin College costs about $4,500

Shaylynn Rogers, student, says that is not easy money to come by and making tuition free for students for two years would lift a huge financial burden for her and many of her classmates. 

"It's great, I think that would be a lot less stressful for a lot of students. Pretty much every student really. I know a lot of parents, single parents, that go here and they're trying to get a good education to better their family. I think that would be a great weight lifted off everyone's shoulders if they didn't have to worry about tuition," Rogers said. 

Several others students at Columbia Basin College  say they agree with the President.

Republicans in congress are not embracing the new plan, skeptical of new big spending programs. 

HD DOPPLER 6i
/