Published: The Vindicator, Thu, January 15, 2015 @ 12:00 a.m.

By Denise Dick


President Barack Obama’s plan to make community college free for all students who maintain a certain grade-point average already is in place at Eastern Gateway Community College.

That’s why EGCC President Laura Meeks and U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan of Howland, D-13th, plan to write a letter to the president, inviting him to visit and see how it works.

“In eastern Ohio, we do that very thing,” Meeks said.

Under what’s called America’s College Promise, Obama’s proposal would make the first two years of community college free for students who maintain a 2.5 GPA, attend at least part time and remain on pace to earn a two-year degree. It’s a program that would require partnership with the states.

Ryan said he applauds the president’s leadership demonstrated in the proposal.

“Eastern Gateway Community College is proof that this type of national program can and does work,” he said in an email. “For over 20 years, they have enabled high school students from our community to attend two years of college for free — giving access to higher education to thousands of our young people. This program gives students the ability to get an associate’s degree free of cost, or they can transfer credits to any university to pursue a bachelor’s degree, without having to pay for two years of credit.”

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