By Hayley Hart/ Staff Writer

President Obama and Dr. Jill Biden announce a plan to make Community Colleges free.

President Obama and Dr. Jill Biden, wife to Vice President Joe Biden and a Community College professor, spoke at Michigan’s Macomb Community College on Wednesday, Sept. 9, about a plan to make Community Colleges free nationwide.

Upon hearing the news, LBCC student Elis Preze, 21, a communications major, said he is “not surprised as he (President Obama) is coming out of office. I don’t think it will last if it goes through, but it sounds exciting.”

Dr. Biden announced she will lead the independent College Promise Advisory Board responsible for giving exposure to Community Colleges that already provide education for free. Biden mentioned the Tennessee Promise that allows high school seniors to apply for a scholarship that can be used at 13 Community Colleges and 27 college that focus on applied technology. The Tennessee Promise is paid for with lottery funds and is starting with the graduating high school class of 2015.

Obama cited the growth and strength the country received from the post-war G.I. Bill, which funds education of service men and women, as a way that free education can help continue to grow America. He said he does not want people who desire an education to struggle with debt to get a decent job that requires 21st century skills and higher educations. Obama said that for Americans to keep up with other countries and the constant changes in technologies, most jobs require at least some higher education.

LBCC for the last several years has offered free tuition to all local high-school graduates in their first semester at the college.

The Long Beach Promise included the raising of $6 million in a successful fund-raising drive by the LBCC Foundation.

The program has won numerous awards regionally and nationally and has been recognized in several education publications.