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President Obama’s plan for community college raises questions

“That’s why I am sending this Congress a bold new plan to lower the cost of community college – to zero,” President Barack Obama announced in his State of the Union Address.

He called it America’s College Promise and said it would cover the cost of students’ tuition for qualifying community college programs, so long as they maintained a 2.5 GPA.

It’s a plan he said would help the 40% of students that choose to go to community college.

And unlike other programs already in place which only cover recent high school graduates, Obama’s would also cover non-traditional students.

But Missouri is one of the places that has one of those plans in place — the A+ Program.

And right now, education officials don’t know how it will affect us.

“We still don’t know a lot of the details about the plan so we have no idea what it will do to Missouri’s A+ Program,” Liz Coleman, Communications Director for the Missouri Department of Higher Education, said.

The White House said the plan will cost an estimated 60 billion dollars in federal funding and another 20 billion from states over 10 years. But where in the state budget that money will come from is unclear.

Some people said they weren’t happy about the plan because it could mean higher taxes to fund it.

But Coleman said Missouri’s A+ Program is doing very well and she imagined a nationwide plan would have similar results.

“Any program that helps more students attend college is a good thing for Missouri and the country and especially for the students,” she said.

President Obama also said he wanted to help lower student loan debt by reducing monthly payments.

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