A majority of Americans approve of President Obama’s proposal to offer qualifying students two free years of community college, a new poll finds.

Sixty-three percent of likely 2016 voters polled by the Progressive Change Institute (PCI) said they approved of the plan, while 27 percent opposed it.

{mosads}The PCI is a sister organization of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, which is pushing proposals that would make public college free for all students.

The poll finds that Democrats widely support Obama’s proposal, as do 53 percent of independents. Forty-seven percent of Republicans support the proposal, according to the poll, while 41 percent oppose it, and 12 percent are neutral.

Under the plan, the federal government and the states would subsidize the first two years of community college for students who are making progress toward a degree and maintain a certain grade point average.

Obama is expected to speak about the proposal during his State of the Union address Tuesday night. The plan is expected to cost $60 billion over 10 years and faces an uphill fight with Republicans now in control of Congress.

The poll also found broad support for more generous government support for college students.

Seventy-one percent supported federal financial assistance to states to allow them to make public colleges and universities more affordable, and help students graduate without debt. Nineteen percent opposed the idea.

A proposal that would accomplish a similar result through financial incentives to states was less popular but still garnered majority support.

The support for Obama’s community college plan in the PCI poll aligns with other polls taken on the proposal.

Washington Post poll found 53 percent of Americans supported the plan, while 44 percent opposed it. Sixty percent supported the plan in a HuffPost/YouGov poll, and 32 percent opposed it.

The poll was conducted between Jan. 9-15 with a 2.5-percentage-point margin of error. Survey questions about alternate proposals to benefit students had a 3.6-percentage-point margin of error.


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