Coast students weigh in on President Obama's free tuition propos - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Coast students weigh in on President Obama's free tuition proposal

Tracey Lee and Hannah Waltman fear that students wouldn't try as hard if school were free. (Photo source: WLOX) Tracey Lee and Hannah Waltman fear that students wouldn't try as hard if school were free. (Photo source: WLOX)
According to the president's proposal, states would have to opt in to the program and put up part of the funding. (Photo source: WLOX) According to the president's proposal, states would have to opt in to the program and put up part of the funding. (Photo source: WLOX)
GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) -

President Obama has announced a proposal to make community college free for those who would meet certain requirements. Under the president's plan, participating students would have to maintain a modest GPA and participating schools would have to meet certain academic requirements.

The proposal has gotten mixed reviews from Washington, all the way down to South Mississippi. Some community college students we talked with have already formed an opinion.

"The idea of having free tuition at community college is great and everything. It's the matter of if people are going to apply themselves," said Hannah Waltman.

But Hannah Waltman and her friend, Tracey Le, both fear that offering education free of charge could do more harm than good.

"The thing I'm afraid of is because community college is free, they might just stop at the associates and they might not want to go to higher education. But it can also go another route like maybe they see they can do it and it's not as hard as they think, that they would want to keep going," said Le.

During President Obama's announcement at Pellissippi State Community College in Knoxville, Tennessee, he stated that the proposal is about making sure everybody has the opportunity to constantly train themselves for better jobs, better wages, and better benefits.

"I definitely think it's good in that it would encourage people earlier to make the decision to go to college," Andrew Fulton said. "But then I think about is there really any incentive if you don't have to pay for it?”

Overall, students seemed to agree that free education could hinder people from reaching their academic potential, since they wouldn't be invested by footing the bill.

According to the president's proposal, states would have to opt in to the program and put up part of the funding.

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