Obama: We're Not Giving Away "Two Years Of Free Goofing Off," "No Such Thing As A Completely Free Lunch"


MARK KELLY, STUDENT: My name is Mark Kelly. My question is, what is the criteria and the requirements for this plan you are trying to propose... for two years [of no-cost community college]?

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: You would have to maintain at least a 2.5 average, so we are not going to -- there is no such thing as a completely free lunch. We want to reward people making the effort. Because one of the problems we have, when it comes to college education, is that young people are not graduating fast enough. They are dragging things out too long. That just adds costs. And even if they are taking out loans, it is technically -- they are paying for it.

The problem is that the more expensive it gets, the more likely it may be that they can pay it back. What we are saying is, you have got to earn it. You have got to have a 2.5 average. You have to maintain attendance. You have to stay on a schedule and have a game plan at the front-end so you graduate on time. (There would be special circumstances like illness or what have you.)

The point is, this is not, you get two years of free goofing off. This is to help you achieve your goals. But that means you have to put in the effort. That would be the main criteria.

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