By in Politics

You Don't Need Obama's College Plan, Do What Oklahoma Did

Obama came up with the government helping pay for 2 years of community college. Sounds good on paper, but 2 years of college won't get you that far and then you have to figure out how to get the rest of the money to go further, it essentially just puts off your student loans for two years.

States should be helping their citizens like Oklahoma does. Now most probably don't know where Oklahoma is, most just know we have lots of tornadoes. Well, the state of Oklahoma is keeping their high school graduates here in the state with Oklahoma Promise, which pays for college. Not two years of community college, it pays for tuition for a full 4 year college if the students parents make under $50,000 a year. All the students have to do is sign up before the end of 10th grade and keep their grades up and they will help pay the students tuition, add in Pell grants if your student qualifies and your student is set, unless they live on campus which they have to come up with the money for that. The catch? It has to be a college in Oklahoma.

This was Oklahoma's way to increase the amount of people attending college and also to help to try and keep them in the state. If Oklahoma can do this, I don't see why other states can't adopt something like this for them. Why rely on the Federal government? They will make the state pay part anyways, so why not come up with their own plan where they can be responsible for their own citizens.

Do you really want big government to have a hand in colleges and universities too? They have their hands in enough of our lives already, let your state step up and take care of their citizens, not the Federal government!

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MsBiz wrote on January 23, 2015, 11:25 AM

That sounds like a pretty good plan. I just wonder how sustainable it is over the long-term, with tuition rising like it is. If it could be fit into a state budget, I would fully support something like this. In fact, I would like to see it expanded for families with higher incomes, because $50,000 sure doesn't go a long way in some areas of the country.

Soonerdad3 wrote on January 23, 2015, 11:28 AM

Well said Kat- and this is exactly what I thought of when I heard Obama announce his bs plan to waste even more federal taxpayer dollars and force states to pay for something they have nothing to do with. He maybe filled with lots of good intentions, but he rarely thinks the ideas through. There are numerous duplicated government programs already and this will just add to it.

Soonerdad3 wrote on January 23, 2015, 11:34 AM

That is a good question, but it has been in place since 1996 and it have survived a few scares about funding, but for the most part the state budget for this program is kept intact. I understand what you are saying and that could easily be adjusted according to the states needs.

JohnRoberts wrote on January 23, 2015, 11:59 AM

The best scheme is to reinvent yourself as an illegal immigrant then you can get a total university free ride!

MsBiz wrote on January 23, 2015, 12:02 PM

I'm wondering how well it could work in a larger state with a higher cost of living, like Florida, where I originally come from. I would definitely like to see it tried in my current home state of North Carolina. I live in one of the poorest counties in the state and a lot of bright children miss out on college for financial reasons. Moreover, it mostly goes down race lines. The county is about 70% white, yet the public schools are over 80% black (and have a scary-low graduation rate). White families are pulling their children out of the failing public schools and we're basically re-segregating. I think a college incentive program could do a lot to fix some of the socioeconomic divides they go down racial lines.

Soonerdad3 wrote on January 23, 2015, 12:27 PM

I agree with you, it is tough for underprivileged kids to get ahead if they don't have the money to go to college. I know it would have been difficult for my wife and I to put our oldest daughter through college if it was not for Oklahoma Promise and the federal Pell Grant Program. It is the same with our son who has one more year left in his 5 year Engineering Physics program.

Soonerdad3 wrote on January 23, 2015, 12:28 PM

It would seem so if you look at Obama's mind set these days.

Kat- wrote on January 23, 2015, 12:37 PM

It's been around for a while (1996) and they've been able to fit it in the budget. If other states adopted this, I think they would come up with their own amount as being the cutoff as cost of living is different throughout the states. I think it's great since it helps kids go to college that otherwise probably wouldn't and helps keep those kids in the state and hopefully they will stay after college too.

Kat- wrote on January 23, 2015, 12:39 PM

He wants to give everything away to illegals, but that would be another post entirely! lol

MsBiz wrote on January 23, 2015, 12:46 PM

I know what you mean. My husband and I are solidly middle-class, but haven't saved a cent toward my stepdaughter's college education. Our only saving grace is that will have the house paid off the year she starts college, so we're prepared to just pay out-of-pocket with the money that would've went to our mortgage. That's cutting directly into our retirement savings, so it would be great if the state could help out, even if we're not the most needy family in the world.

Soonerdad3 wrote on January 23, 2015, 12:52 PM

Now I better understand your previous comment and I have heard some people here wondering if they could increase the income threshold at some point.

Sheilamarie78 wrote on January 23, 2015, 6:57 PM

Something has to change. The way it is now, students finish buried in debt. What I want to ask, though, is what happens if the family makes $51,000?

bleekley wrote on January 23, 2015, 7:05 PM

America's community colleges are wonderful. I picked up a two year degree at one some decades ago after I had gotten a BA and an MLS. Oklahoma's promise sounds like an excellent, and I agree that all states should do likewise, but it is not an either-or situation. President Obama's community colleges plan, as explained in the article "Building American Skills Through Community Colleges" on the White House gov website, sounds excellent, too. The city of Kalamazoo, Michigan, where I live, has a similar "Kalamazoo promise", but it is financed by an anonymous, wealthy individual, family, or group.

Soonerdad3 wrote on January 24, 2015, 7:02 AM

While I agree that Obama's plan does sound wonderful bleekley , except that it is a duplicate program that already exists; The Pell Grants. All he had to do is look at what the government already provides and request it to be tweaked by the Congress to include what he sees as a need.

Kat- wrote on January 24, 2015, 7:58 AM

If the amount the family makes goes up while the child is already in college, nothing changes as long as it doesn't go above $100,000.

Kat- wrote on January 24, 2015, 8:01 AM

Obama will figure some way to raise taxes to pay for this, when as Soonerdad3 said there are Pell grants available. It sounds good on paper but how many will take this seriously? Most want more than a 2 year degree and what do we do about others who just want a 2 year free ride? Yes, some will use this as a reason to put off getting a job for 2 years.

osumbum19 wrote on February 5, 2015, 9:48 AM

Wow, I wish Ohio would have done that. I have quite a bit of money in student loans that I get the pleasure of paying off.