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Sunday, January 11, 2015

President proposes two years of free college tuition

Rep. Jim Langevin applauds Obama plan

Ivory Tower Andrew Rossi animated GIFEDITOR'S NOTE: click here to read a straight-forward way to pay for this plan from two Progressive Charlestown contributions.

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Jim Langevin (D-RI) offered his support today for President Barack Obama’s America’s College Promise proposal, which would provide free tuition at community colleges for two years for eligible, responsible students. The proposal is modeled on existing programs in states like Tennessee, and could save students an average of $3,800 in tuition per year.

“College debt has become a crippling burden on too many young people in this country, making higher education unattainable for some and limiting options for the next generation of our workforce. Students are being priced out of an education they crave, hindering their ability to pursue their dreams,” said Langevin. “This proposal reaffirms the promise of the American Dream – that through hard work and perseverance, anyone can succeed.”

Under the President’s proposal, community colleges must work to improve graduation rates and states would be called upon to invest more in higher education. Students taking advantage of the program would be expected to earn good grades and stay on track to graduate.

“We know that individuals with college degrees have greater earning power and that by 2020, an estimated 35 percent of job openings will require at least a bachelor’s degree,” Langevin continued. “I strongly believe that this program would result in a skilled, qualified workforce that could tackle those jobs of the future. I look forward to working with my partners at CCRI and across the state to ensure that we continue the good work they’re already doing and to implement these new goals.”

President Obama’s plan also includes the American Technical Training Fund, an initiative to support training programs with strong employer partnerships and work-based learning opportunities. This plan would incentivize community colleges and training programs to focus heavily on job placement rates and job placement wages.

“As co-chair of the Congressional Career and Technical Education Caucus, I recognize that a four-year college is not the right path for every student. We need to support workforce development programs at every level for every type of student, including community colleges, technical education and on-the-job training,” Langevin said. “Through this multi-pronged approach, we can help every student to gain the skills needed for success in their chosen field.”