President Barack Obama wants two years of community college to be free "for everybody who is willing to work for it" as part of a proposal he will discuss in a speech Friday at Pellissippi State Community College in Tennessee.
"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 in a White House video on Thursday previewing the proposal. "It's something we can accomplish, and it's something that will train our workforce so that we can compete with anyone in the world."
As many as 9 million students could be covered under the free community college plan, according to the White House, which said funding specifics concerning the proposal would be laid out during the president's State of the Union Address and in his budget. A full-time student could save $3,800 in tuition costs on average annually over the two years as part of the proposal, the White House said.
The GOP-controlled Congress would have to approve the president's measure.
"With no details or information on the cost, this seems more like a talking point than a plan," said Cory Fritz, a spokesperson for House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio).