Previewing yet another item on his 2015 State of the Union Friday, President Obama announced a new plan to make community college tuition “free.”
“Today I’m announcing an ambitious new plan to bring down the cost of community college tuition in America,” Obama said. “I wanna bring it down to zero. I wanna make it free.”
Obama may have spoken for over half-an-hour in Knoxville, Tennessee, where he was joined by both Sens. Bob Corker (R-TN) and Lamar Alexander (R-TN), but he left out a few details about his new program:
1) It Isn’t Free
Obama may have sold his plan as “free” college tuition, but it isn’t free to students and it definitely isn’t free to taxpayers. First, Obama’s plan will only cover “three-qarters of the average cost of community college.” States are expected to pick up the tab for the remaining 25 percent. But even then, the program will only cover the “average cost” of tuition. Many students who go to schools with higher tuitions will still be on the hook for money.
Second, nothing is ever free for taxpayers. On Air Force One today, Deputy Press Secretary Eric Schultz confirmed that the program will cost at least $60 billion over ten years.