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Education

Gov. Herbert Concerned about President’s Community College Proposal

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Photo courtesy SLCC
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Salt Lake Community College

Utah Governor Gary Herbert has some concerns about President Barack Obama’s plan to make community college free… specifically, how it would be paid for.

The president’s plan would cover 2 years of tuition for community college students who attend classes at least half-time, maintain a 2.5 grade point average, and make progress toward a degree. The governor’s spokesperson Marty Carpenter says Herbert has been a strong supporter of higher education, but he’s not sure he can support the president’s plan. 

“The governor is a big fan of pointing out that there is no such thing as a free lunch,” Carpenter says. “So whether the funds originate from the state or from the federal government, their true origin is in the taxpayer’s wallet. It all comes at a cost to the taxpayer, and that I think is his most significant concern.”

In the plan released by the White House Press office, federal funding would cover three-quarters of the average cost of community college, and states that choose to participate would contribute the remaining funds. Obama says he plans to push the issue in his Jan. 20th State of the Union address. Carpenter says the governor will wait on final judgment until he has more details.

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