The road to a higher education

Let's make it a reality for every American.

Watch President Obama Deliver the Commencement Address at Lake Area Tech

Earlier this year, the President unveiled a new proposal to make two years of community college free for responsible students across America. If all 50 states were to implement this proposal, it would benefit roughly 9 million students each year. And in the long run, it would leave America better-positioned to compete in a growing global economy. Here's why:

By the year 2020, 30 percent of job openings will require some college or an associates degree — and an estimated 35 percent will require at least a bachelor's degree. Getting those skills shouldn't mean taking on decades' worth of student debt.

This proposal would mean big things for millions of students, but the President has been taking steps to make college more affordable for the past six years. Get a recap of that progress here.

Then, watch the President deliver the commencement address at Lake Area Tech community college:


Meet Eight Lake Area Tech Students Sitting in the Audience

Dozens of students from the Lake Area Tech class of 2015 told us what community college has meant to them, and how it's changed their career prospects. Click through and read their stories — then, share one of your own above.

Bailey B.
Willow Lake, SD Agri-Business
Katelyn F.
Watertown, SD Marketing and Management
MacKenzie H.
Cosmetology Watertown, SD
Tyler M.
Custom Paint and Fabrication Clinton, MN
Christopher M.
Medical and Fire Rescue Lennox, SD
Myles S.
Heavy Equipment Operator Donnelly, MN
Carmen O.
Human Services Millbank, SD
Dalton T.
Agriculture Production Hitchcock, SD