The federal government would ensure that all students could attend two years of community college free of charge

Jan, 09, 2015

In a move that has the potential to shift the education landscape, President Obama has proposed two years of free community college to all American students.

The New York Times reports that the plan would unfold over the course of ten years and would cost the federal government $60 billion, opening the doors of higher education to nearly nine million students across the country.

"For millions of Americans, community colleges are an essential pathway to the middle class," President Obama said in a speech on Friday, January 9. 

Modeled off a current program in Tennessee, the federal plan would mean that tuition would be paid for up front by the government, and students would not have to seek additional scholarships. The program wouldn't consider low grade point averages or income levels. 

Opponents of the plan are wary about modeling the federal plan on a state program. "Any efforts to reboot Tennessee Promise as a one-size-fits-all nationwide approach will be met with heavy skepticism from Congress," Rep. Diane Black (R-TN) said in a statement.

President Obama said that he would officially be revealing an outline of the program to Congress later this month.