Education

Triangle HBCU leaders cautious of Obama's community college plan

Posted January 26, 2015

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— Leaders at the Triangle’s historically black colleges and universities have a “wait-and-see” attitude regarding the impact of President Barack Obama’s plan of two years of free community college on their bottom lines.

Fall enrollment at North Carolina HBCUs has declined 7 percent since 2010, according to federal numbers. These schools often have low endowments, so they’re heavily dependent on tuition dollars.

“It’s always a concern when it hurts your bottom line because a lot of what we do is driven by enrollment,” said Monica Leach, associate vice-chancellor for enrollment management at North Carolina Central University, where enrollment has dropped 6 percent since 2010.

Under Obama’s proposal, a full-time community college student could save an average of $3,800 in tuition per year. The effort, according to the White House, would benefit about 9 million students per year “if they earn good grades and stay on track to graduate.”

Leech said it’s too early to tell how Obama’s plan will impact enrollment.

Everett Ward, interim president at St. Augustine’s University, shared Leech’s sentiment. Enrollment at the Raleigh school has fallen 14 percent since 2010.

“You have to understand all aspects of the bill before you can give a definitive answer with regard to harm,” he said. “In any way that financial barriers can be eliminated to help more young people obtain a higher education, I’m supportive of it and the university is supportive of it.”

St. Augustine’s and NCCU cited their relationships with area community colleges, where they also recruit students, and believe those connections will help them if the proposal is instituted.

65 Comments

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  • Greg Boop Jan 27, 2015
    user avatar

    Update on 529s...

    Obama drops plan to raise taxes on ‘529’ college savings accounts
    President’s Plan Sparked Criticism Over Potential Impact on Middle Class

    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/obama-drops-plan-to-raise-taxes-on--529--college-savings-accounts-232937566.html"The Obama administration said it would drop a plan to tax so-called 529 college savings accounts, after the proposal sparked widespread criticism over its potential impact on the middle class."

  • Greg Boop Jan 27, 2015
    user avatar

    Obama has figured out how to pay for free community college for everyone: Your savings.

    Say goodbye to your 529 plan. What's next... how about your Roth IRAs
    http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2015/01/25/college-cost-tax-federal-community-obama-money-middle-class-incentives-column/22314063/

  • glarg Jan 27, 2015

    " 'There are already government programs to help those who want to to get to community college.'
    Aren't these programs also just government handouts that will allow a bunch of unmotivated 20 year olds who don't want to get on with their lives to crowd out the students that are there to learn (and who worked for the tuition)?"
    This is why the plan is dumb- no specifics. Its not even a plan, just some kind of vague wish. Like Obama was doodling in his journal.

    Obama (and You) dont address why the target population wasn't already in college. There are already grants and loans.

    If these students didnt want to take out loans and invest in themselves, should the taxpayer?

    The population that doesnt go from highschool to college is nearly equal to the current CC population- so we would need nearly double the CC infrastructure and teachers. That is not counted in the costs.

    Why are the deleterious effects of crowding these additional students into the system not considered at all

  • Itsmyopinion67 Jan 27, 2015

    Obama fittin to get me a degree fo free!

  • Larry Hatch Jan 27, 2015
    user avatar

    We all know the "good grades" requirement means nothing because that would actually require effort on the part of the students...EFFORT is offensive to liberals and thus must eliminated. This is plain and simple another confiscation of wealth aka wealth redistribution...I guarantee that some (I said SOME) of these families who cannot afford community college live in homes stocked with liquor, cartoons of cigarettes, iPhones, big-screen plasmas, and other "necessities". When my paycheck is diminished to pay for this schooling...I am essentially buying those things in their place.

  • nclgw Jan 27, 2015

    Proudmuslinexchristian - higher education may be "FREE" in the countries you mentioned, but curious you didn't mention the much, much higher rate of taxes people in those countries pay compared to the U.S. They pay (actually pay) 50-60 (or more) percent!!!!! Don't think we're ready for that yet....we see how badly the government misspends and wastes our current taxes.

  • Danny22 Jan 27, 2015

    It is outrageous that Obama plans to tax college savings plans. He's always trying to figure out how he can take money from those who work and save and give to the freeloaders.

  • think01 Jan 27, 2015

    1.This is a dumb idea[/quote]
    Subjective.


    Sounds a bit like public high school to me, except that the kids wouldn't be required to go. I would think they'd be more motivated if they are there by choice.

    [quote]There are already government programs to help those who want to to get to community college.
    Aren't these programs also just government handouts that will allow a bunch of unmotivated 20 year olds who don't want to get on with their lives to crowd out the students that are there to learn (and who worked for the tuition)?

  • Ginger Lynn Jan 27, 2015
    user avatar

    View quoted thread



    We have a winner!

  • Ginger Lynn Jan 27, 2015
    user avatar

    View quoted thread



    The caveat here being "pass the entrance exams"
    You could never "discriminate" here by requiring entrance exams. ANYONE can go to community college.

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