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Obama's New Plan Offers 2 Years Of Community College To Millions Of Students For Free

OAKLAND (KPIX 5) -- The only thing standing between Amour Perez and his college education is money.

Going to college for free might sound too good to be true, but thanks to President Obama, that might become a reality.

Thursday, President unveiled a plan that would make two years of community college free.

If Perez had a chance to go to community college free of charge, would he take it?

"For sure, I would," said the 27-year-old.

He may soon be closer to that dream than he ever imagined.

The details of Obama's free community college plan are still hazy and it's unclear how the program would be funded. The plan is modeled after initiatives already working in Tennessee and Chicago -- but now it would be available to millions of students across the country.

"Put simply, what I'd like to do is see the first 2 years of community college free for anybody who's willing to work for it," said President Obama in a video posted on Facebook. "It's something we can accomplish and it's something that will train our workforce so that we can compete with anyone in the world."

Dr. Susan Sperling, president of Chabot College in Oakland, is already excited.

"Beyond excited. I think thrilled is the operative term," said Sperling. "I think this is a magnificent opportunity for this country and for the economy of the state of California."

Sperling feels community colleges already play a huge role in this state. Some 80% of California's first responders went to community college. These same colleges produced 70% of the state's nurses.

She believes community colleges are a gateway for students who otherwise might never pursue education. Obama's plan would dramatically expand that opportunity.

Amour for one, can't wait. "Where do I apply?"

President Obama will make a full announcement on Friday.

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