Community Colleges

3 Reasons to Support Free Community College

January 13, 2015  • Mary Cappabianca

We have to do something about higher education in our country.

Access to higher education makes a big difference when it comes to helping Americans join the middle class. Josh Wyner, executive director of the College Excellence Program, recently joined the “PBS NewsHour” to discuss President Barack Obama’s plan to make the first two years of community college free.

“The president’s proposal makes clear that states, community colleges, and students themselves must do their part to ensure that the 9 million students who stand to benefit from free community college actually learn, graduate, and attain the jobs and further education to which they aspire.”
— Josh Wyner

Here are three reasons the proposed program could be a game changer:

  1. “Within the next decade, we’re projected to need an educated workforce where 60 percent of Americans have a college degree, and today we’re just over 40 percent that have one.”
  2. “We have a gap between rich and poor that’s growing in our country. And we have lots of people in our country who don’t have access to higher education.”
  3. One-third of community college students are working full-time jobs. Seventy-five percent are working some jobs to make ends meet.”

Watch this video to learn more about what Wyner calls a 'bold step' toward the future of higher education in America.