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President Obama Announces “America’s College Promise” Proposal at Pellissippi State Community College

January 2015


On January 9, 2015, President Obama visited the Appalachian Region to announce the "America's College Promise" proposal to make two years of community college free for responsible students, letting students earn the first half of a bachelor's degree and learn skills needed in the workforce at no cost. The announcement took place at Pellissippi State Community College in Knoxville, Tennessee.

The America's College Promise proposal aims to provide affordable opportunities to help Americans gain the knowledge and skills needed to meet the demands of a growing global economy. The proposal would create a new partnership with states to help them waive tuition in high-quality programs for responsible students, while promoting reforms to help more students complete at least two years of college.

Under the proposal, community colleges must strengthen their programs and increase the number of students who graduate; states must invest more in higher education and training; and students must take responsibility for their education, earn good grades, and stay on track to graduate. An estimated 9 million students could benefit if all states participate, and a full-time community college student could save an average of $3,800 in tuition per year.

The proposal highlights the key role community colleges play in both education and economic development, providing an affordable route to a college degree and offering tailored training programs to meet economic needs within their communities.

A recording of the January 9 announcement and a fact sheet on the America's College Promise proposal are available on the White House Web site.