How Obama’s Plan for Free Community College Affects Latina Education


You have likely heard about President Obama’s recently announced plan to provide a free community college education to students across the country, but do you know how the plan will affect the Latino community? According to an article by the Washington Post, the President’s plan could affect nine million students in all states. It’s still unclear whether the President will get the congressional support his plan requires, but in the meantime, here’s what you need to know about earning your degree in a two-year college rather than a four-year bachelor’s degree program, and how this can impact your life as a U.S.-based Latina.

A Two-Year Degree Helps You Earn More

Some people are under the misconception that they can’t get a good paying job unless they have a four-year bachelor’s degree. The Washington Post points out studies that show people with associate’s degrees often earn more than people who didn’t finish high school—specifically, people with associate’s degrees earn five to ten percent more per year than those lacking the credential.

Experts think more people will be able to afford to get a four-year degree if they don’t have to pay for the first two years. People with vocational or technical degrees often end up with higher salaries, which will benefit the entire economy.

Some Degrees Are More Valuable Than Others

Some associate’s degrees are so valuable people earn more money than people with bachelor’s degrees. Some of the most lucrative fields that require an associate degree include careers related to radiology, nursing, computer science, and accounting.

You Are More Likely to Graduate Without Debt

We all know about the crushing student loan debt that millions of college students are faced with every year in this country. In many cases, even people working part-time or full-time while in school wind up owing thousands. Having a free two-year education could lessen the burden for many students, even those who plan to go on to four-year programs eventually.

Although the President’s proposal covers all of community college tuition, students still have to pay for room and board. The program doesn’t provide free child are if you need child care in order to attend school.

For help finding a plan to fund your education, talk to your school guidance counselor, and look into scholarships offered exclusively for Hispanic students. A financial adviser can also help you figure out options such as tapping a Roth or Traditional IRA for college expenses.

Not all of the details about the free community college plan are available yet, but so far the proposal has drawn a lot of support. What do you think of the plan?

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