Obama Proposes Free Community College President's plan would cover 2 years of tuition for students By John Johnson, Newser Staff Posted Jan 8, 2015 7:06 PM CST 361 comments Comments President Obama speaks at Central High School in Phoenix on Jan. 8, 2015, about the recovering housing sector. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster) (Newser) – President Obama wants the federal government to pay for two years of community college for eligible students. Obama laid out the broad strokes in a video and will cover more details during a speech tomorrow in Tennessee and in his State of the Union address on Jan. 20, reports USA Today. "Put simply, what I'd like to do is to see the first two years of community college free for anybody who's willing to work for it," he says. "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." Students would need at least a C+ average to qualify, and they'd have to attend school at least half-time, reports Politico. The schools, meanwhile, would have to transfer credits to four-year colleges (more details are on the White House blog). If Congress goes along, the feds would cover three-quarters of the cost, while states would pick up the rest. The White House expects 9 million students would participate, and USA Today comes up with a cost of $34.2 billion per year.