POPLARVILLE, MS (WDAM) - A local community college president is reacting to President Obama's proposal to make a community college education free-of-charge.
The President outlined the plan in his State of the Union speech Tuesday night.
The federal government would pay 75 percent of tuition costs and the states would pick up the other 25 percent. Students would be required to go to school at least half-time and maintain good grades.
Pearl River Community College president Dr. William Lewis said the plan has merit, but he's concerned about it's impact on current tuition assistance programs, like the Pell Grant.
"A lot of our Pell Grant recipients that receive substantial amounts through that Pell Grant system, can get not only their tuition paid, but the room, board, books, travel expense," Lewis said. "The big unknown for me is how the Pell Grant system impacts all of this and how that is going to be reconciled with the concept of free tuition," he said.
Lewis said about 70 percent of PRCC students benefit from the Pell Grant program.