The election of Barack Obama on November 4th has generated new attention to his proposals for higher education. During the campaign, Obama outlined an education plan that included several items of interest to community college students. His college access plan includes a fully refundable tax credit for the first $4000 in college costs. His only stipulation at the time this was proposed was that each student perform 100 hours of public service each year. This could be completed during semester breaks and during the summer.
Another item in his agenda that has bipartisan support and is currently getting some consideration is the simplification of the financial aid application process. Obama also has pledged to keep the Pell Grant maximums rising with or exceeding the rate of inflation.
Obama also specifically targeted community colleges with his proposed grant program to fund a more complete analysis of what kinds of skills and educational programs that are in demand from students. He would also like to create more two year degree programs to address emerging careers as well as reward colleges that increase their graduation rate and increase the number of transfers on to four year schools.
Community colleges: Obama has proposed a new grant program that would provide funds to community colleges to conduct more thorough analysis of the types of skills and technical education that are in high demand from students and local businesses; to create new associate of arts degree programs that cater to emerging careers; and to reward institutions that graduate more students and also increase their numbers of transfer students to four-year institutions.