As part of an effort to make higher education accessible to all Americans, President Obama has proposed offering two free years of community college to qualified students, a plan critics say is too expensive and misses the mark on education reform. Here are the pros and cons of making the first two years of community college free:


  • Gives students a nice two-year buffer between high school and their first data entry position
  • More weird 43-year-olds in backs of classes
  • Would benefit American businesses by pumping millions into the nation’s bus ad industry
  • Has potential to elevate whatever still remains of middle class
  • Students can always take on massive debt later
  • Prepares students for eventual transfer to a four-year college where credits they earned will be completely rejected
  • Since plan has no chance of being made into law, projected cost is an affordable $0



  • Not enough room in Ivory Tower for all these newcomers
  • Cuts into bottom line of universally successful for-profit colleges
  • Employers don’t need a bunch of entitled community college graduates expecting a $26,000 salary their first year
  • College is full of beer parties and unruly behavior
  • Affluent community college alumni should be funding this, not taxpayers
  • Upends traditional American ideal that students who can’t afford tuition are not deserving of college
  • Slippery slope to other improvements in public education