President Obama said Thursday that he would propose a government program to make community college tuition-free for millions of students, an ambitious plan that would expand educational opportunities across the United States.
The initiative, which the president plans to officially announce Friday at a Tennessee community college, aims to transform publicly financed higher education in an effort to address growing income inequality.
The plan would be funded by the federal government and participating states, but White House officials declined to discuss how much it would cost or how it would be financed. It is bound to be expensive and likely a tough sell to a Republican Congress not eager to spend money, especially on a proposal from the White House.
Mr. Obama’s advisers acknowledged Thursday that the program’s goals would not be achieved quickly. The president, however, was more upbeat. “It’s something that we can accomplish, and it’s something that will train our work force so that we can compete with anybody in the world,” Mr. Obama said in a video posted Thursday night by the White House.