PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Vice President Joe Biden and the Second Lady used Philadelphia Community College as the backdrop Monday to roll-out their push for free college tuition.

The program provides $100-million in grants to expand job-training partnerships at community colleges. Vice President Joe Biden said it’s designed to extend free-tuition programs like the one at Community College of Philadelphia.

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“We need to make college more affordable,” Biden said. “These kinds of partnerships can help tens of thousands of students get the skills they need.”

Free community college tuition is available at 27 areas in the nation. Nasir Venable is one of about 200 students taking advantage of CCP’s program.

“A lot of people personally that I know don’t go to CCP because they can’t afford it, Venable said. “I could only afford four classes. And with the scholarship — the 50th anniversary scholarship — I was able to get five classes, plus afford my books.”

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Dr. Jill Biden is a teacher at Northern Virginia Community College.

“CCP saw students like the ones I’ve had in my classroom who are forced to choose between paying for books or buying groceries,” she said.

The program will be funded by fees on some visas for skilled foreign workers.


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