Free community college is a bad idea

Students won't try as hard in community college if they don't have to pay for it.

Free community college is another poorly thought idea from President Barack Obama ("Obama turns populist in State of the Union speech," Jan. 21). Am I against opening up the opportunity for many who cannot afford college? Absolutely not, but here is my concern. We already require K-12 education universally, and there are some who are disruptive in classes, have no interest in learning, and attend only if forced to do so. So we add these people to free college classes?

Rather than another handout, I suggest tuition be deferred until after graduation and interest-free payments over a five year period after graduation be the method to recover the majority of costs.

This has several advantages. First, with repayment required, attendees would value the opportunity and not waste their or the college's time. Second, a degree and a good job should allow easy repayment of the fairly low cost of community college, with no accruing interest. Third, it reduces the cost to taxpayers who are already burdened with too many taxes. Additionally, for those most in need and who negotiate repaying the base cost, an opportunity similar to Perkins Loans could be offered where employment in the state for a minimum of five years after graduation could offset most of the repayment.

People tend to be more responsible and proud if they earn something rather than have it given to them. A perfect solution? No. A better solution? I think so!

Ralph Hendrix, Severna Park

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