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Community college bill is essential for Arizona students

gWhen President Obama announced his plan to make community college free to all students, I felt that the future now looks bright for the younger generation of college hopefuls, especially for those students in Arizona. I myself made the decision to attend a two-year community college in Arizona before transferring to a university for several vital reasons that made an impact on my education and willingness to learn.

The first reason I chose to attend a community college was because I simply wanted to try and save myself thousands of dollars and avoid going into debt for as long as possible. The second and more important reason has to do with the lack of college preparedness I received during my high school years in Arizona. I finished my senior year without receiving any information about college from a counselor, I was never encouraged to take the SATs and I graduated feeling discouraged by the state’s education system.

As an Arizona student I feel my education was greatly neglected due to budget cuts in the school systems. If it wasn’t for community college and the close personal connections with faculty and other students I made, I may never have been encouraged to attend a university or felt capable of accomplishing such a significant goal. Now as my final semester of graduate school comes to an end, I can say that I owe my whole college education to community college. This is why I hope the state’s Legislature votes to approve the proposed HB2487 because it will allow thousands of Arizona students to attend community college for free, which I believe is vital to a student’s educational success and overall confidence. In a state ranked so low in education, its proposed ideas like free community college could make the difference in countless young people’s lives.

– Kellie MacDonald-Evoy is a  graduate student in social work at Arizona State University.


  1. I truly appreciate Ms. MacDonald-Evoy’s sharing her experiences and reasoning behind her academic decisions. I do not know what Ms. MacDonald-Evoy’s home life experiences were growing up within Arizona’s public education system. Her experience of not feeling college-prepared, however, is felt by many Arizona high-school students. Assume this lack of support within the high-school years, coupled with being a youth raised within the Arizona’s foster care system, and you have a perfect storm wherein our collective state systems tacitly perpetuate the inter-generational cycle of abuse and neglect of children within families. Education is the single factor proven to have a significant impact on decreasing the rates of abuse and neglect upon our children. While Arizona’s child welfare system continues in its never ending state of upheaval, accessibility to post-secondary education for all will have a multitude, if not unintended, positive impact on so many ills plaguing our state. Encourage your state representative to vote in favor of HB2487. ~ Tamera Shanker / Child Advocate / Board Chair & Scholarship Program Chair of Arizona Friends of Foster Children Foundation (AFFCF)

  2. “Go to college for free.” There is no free. The average earnings of the chancellor, provost and all campus presidents’s highest tier of administrators—stagger at $181,685. Toss in full-time professors earning between $65k-$95k. Did Obama mention shaking the money tree and free money be provided to all who need it? Taxpayers pay ALL government expenses. When the uninformed state that they support “free” anything from the government, they are really stating they support their friends, neighbors, and countrymen being told to open the wallets and empty out even more. Get a job, pay your own way. How much of my money that I work to earn for my family do you feel you are entitled to?

  3. Restructure the Arizona University System to provide greater accessibility, affordability. and accountability to a public university education for many more Arizonans:


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