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The Rambler

The Rambler

Free tuition is not exactly “free” even under Obama’s new college plan


President Barack Obama announced on Jan. 8, that he wants to make the first two years of community college free for those who work hard.

First, I question what exactly defines who works hard? I am not saying I am not completely opposed to this idea. I am indifferent. As someone who paid out of pocket every year to finish my college education, I feel Obama’s plan leaves those who worked hard to pay off school feeling like, “Well, what about us?” Even after taking out all my grants and loans, I am still left with a balance of around $2,000 each semester to pay without my parents’ help. Community college is already inexpensive, but a four-year intuition is not. I think the money should go toward four-year institutions instead, especially since they are more competitive to get into.

The way I see it, by the time I graduate college I will possibly be left paying taxes to pay for this plan if this gets passed, on top of still having to pay for my student loans.
I am sure I am not the only one who feels this way. Also, I would hope those who receive free tuition do not just throw their education away by dropping out because then our money gets flushed down the drain. Those who actually paid their way, received scholarships or have parents that pay may feel more pressure to perform better.

My fear is that some of those who go to community college for free may not feel there are any consequences if they drop out because it’s not their money and they did not work for it. Therefore, I feel if anyone were to go to community college for free it should be because they earned it.
According to, community colleges have open enrollment, meaning it’s not mandatory to take the ACT or SAT. Which means anyone can get in as long as they have their high school diploma. Yes, anyone.

Alas, the most positive way I can look at this is two ways: One, I hope all my work experience and learning how to manage my time and multitask will pay off. Two, I hope the next generation of students that truly work hard will not have to work as hard as those of us that had to pay their way out of pocket to get through school, and will be better able to focus on their studies. This will also not only help others, but will also help better our society and nation to advance, which is something I am for.

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Free tuition is not exactly “free” even under Obama’s new college plan