By Sandra Ramón Vilarasau

A great opportunity for those seeking the American dream

As part of the goals to achieve in education, President Barack Obama began this 2015 asking Congress to support an initiative to allow responsible students to receive two years of free studies at Community Colleges.
In the proposal of The Promise of Higher Education in the United States, would make it possible for qualified students to complete the first half of a degree at no cost. The proposal will require everyone to do the same: community colleges should strengthen their programs and increase the number of students who graduate, states should invest more in higher education and training and students should take responsibility for their own academic formation, with good grades and be licensed, according to the information provided by the White House.
The president hopes to benefit nine million students every year, with yearly savings between $ 3.200 and $ 3.800 for students, for full time students, as long as the states are willing to participate. For some, this is the first step to obtaining a higher education. With an average grade of at least 2.5 out of 4, the students, after finishing this first two-year period, would continue their studies either in any college that offer university courses or in a traditional university until they reach their degree .

In Broward County we have Broward College that serves 68,000 students and, Miami-Dade College, which is the most important community college in South Florida. For the president of Broward College, J. David Armstrong President Obama proposal offers an unprecedented opportunity to attend college free for the first two years and earn a certificate or associate degree, since it eliminates economic barriers for those seeking the American dream.
In his opinion, increasing the number of students in colleges, we are investing in the citizen of the United States, developing the skills today that will benefit them for the jobs of tomorrow.
Moreover, this proposal would have a positive economic impact at all levels. I expect that Congress consider seriously this proposal”.
In what percentage Broward College considers will increase the admission of new students if this initiative is approved? At this time, we can’t speculate what will be the increase in enrollment or attendance, but by boosting college enrollment, we are investing in Americans, developing workforce skills that will benefit them today and developing a workforce for the jobs of tomorrow. Will there be a maximum annual enrollment quota for this initiative?

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We have no restriction. Our mission is open access, so we will always be willing to admit all those who wish to study at Broward College. We currently have 68,000 students.
What is the average annual cost for student? This varies depending on a number of factors, including what program a student is enrolled in and other educational costs. Yearly in-state tuition and fees during the two years at Broward total $3,177.
From where would the funds to meet the costs of these new students? It is the state or the federal government in Washington?
The proposal would create a new partnership with states. According to the research we have done, federal funding will cover three-quarters of the average cost of community college. It is expected that participating states will cover the remaining necessary funds in order to eliminate the tuition for eligible students.
Community colleges, in the United States, are the portal to higher education for a growing number of students. About 7.7 million students are enrolled to obtain diplomas in the 1,132 schools, distributed throughout the country, according to the American Association of Community Colleges, AACC for its acronym in Spanish, which supports this initiative.

Source: Edición 25 Aldea Magazine

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