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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp attends the Class of 1972 50-year reunion in Kyle Field on April 20, 2022.
A&M System’s Title IX director suspended after supporting Biden's Title IX changes
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Texas A&M infielder Trinity Cannon (6) reacts during Texas A&M’s game against Texas at the Austin Super Regional at Red and Charline McCombs Field in Austin, Texas, on Friday, May 24, 2024. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
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Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Outcome of Obama tuition proposal on Blinn uncertain

When President Barack Obama proposed offering two-year community college free of tuition to responsible students, Blinn students were left wondering how this could affect Blinn college and Texas A&M in the future.
The proposal pertains to students who maintain at least a 2.5 GPA, are enrolled at least half-time and are steadily working towards their degrees.
“Put simply, what I’d like to see is the first two years of community college free for everybody who is willing to work for it,” Obama said in the State of the Union address earlier this year. “That’s right, free for anyone willing to work for it. That’s something we can accomplish and it’s something that will train our workforce so we can compete with anybody in the world.”
Richard Bray, Blinn College marketing and communications associate director, said it will be interesting to see how far the proposal goes.
“Obviously when you’re dealing with both federal and state funding, that means there’s going to be a lot of hoops to jump through,” Bray said. “But, from Blinn College’s perspective, we’re just excited. We don’t have a whole lot of information yet, but we’re just excited about the White House and the president’s recognition of the important role that community colleges play, not only to our national education system, but also to the American economy.”
Not everyone is ready to greet this proposal with excitement. Autumn Kidwell, Blinn Team freshman, said she does not like the proposal because the students the proposal aims to help already have other means of finding funding.
“I don’t think it’s a good idea because if you really have the need for free college, a responsible student would be able to look and find scholarships for themselves,” Kidwell said.
Bray said any additional resources to make higher education more affordable would not only be beneficial to Blinn, but to the community as well. Bray said this is because making higher education more affordable does not just affect kids looking to go to school, it also affects those looking to get trained for a skill-oriented career.
“It could also, theoretically, help those who are looking for workforce education programs, who want training in some of our programs, our health professions, our nursing programs and career paths such as welding,” Bray said. “If it’s helping people obtain that kind of training as well so they can quickly get into the workforce and support their families and boost the economy, that would be a tremendous thing for Texas.”
Bray said community colleges are of tremendous value in the U.S. education system, and it is difficult to determine exactly how Blinn College will be affected if the proposal goes through.
“We actually put out a press release earlier this year [saying] that if you’re enrolled at Blinn College for this academic year, 2015-2016, then you’re going to pay just 48.8 percent of the tuition and fees that you would pay at the average Texas public college or university,” Bray said. “We’re already cutting the cost of the university education in half. I think we would attract even more people for the ability to offer tuition for free.”

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