South Florida College Leaders Support President's Free College Plan

Jan 9, 2015

The president of Broward College supports President Barack Obama's proposal to offer students two years of college tuition-free.
Credit John O'Connor / StateImpact Florida

The leaders of two of the nation’s largest community colleges say they support President Barack Obama's proposal to give students two years of college for free.

Obama proposed the idea in Tennessee Friday.

In a written statement, Broward College president J. David Armstrong says the proposal could mean more training for teachers, nurses, paramedics, firefighters and police. That's good for the economy, he says.

The proposal "provides unprecedented access and opportunity for all to attend the first two years of college and earn a certificate or associate's degree since it directly addresses economic barriers for those seeking the American Dream," Armstrong says.

Miami Dade College already offers full scholarships to many students. They mostly support Obama's plan, too:

 

President Eduardo Padrón says community colleges support the idea because the cost of college often prevents students from finishing their studies.

"We are confident that this initiative will make a tremendous difference in college completion and further improve our nation’s economy by creating a skilled workforce," Padrón says.

Critics worry the federal government could shift financial aid from poor students to middle class students to pay for the program.

Congress would have to approve the president’s plan.