Community college leaders are reserving judgement on a proposal from President Barack Obama that would allow students to attend community college for free if they make the grades.

Christine Payton, spokesperson for South Louisiana Community College--based in Lafayette but with several campuses throughout Acadiana--called the president's plan "ambitious" and that it "signifies the value that the education at community colleges provide for students."

Payton said that the possible resulting influx in students would force leaders to reevaluate the maximum capacity at SLCC's campuses as well as the number of faculty staffed at each school.

But Payton said if the program could be modeled after a similar one implemented in Tennessee, it could be a "win-win."

Under the president's proposal, students earning a 2.5 GPA could attend two years of community college for free. Tuition would be paid for primarily by the federal government, but states would have to pay about 25 percent of the cost.

Obama is expected to offer more details during his State of the Union address Jan. 20.

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