However, the president's announcement said that the plan could benefit as many as nine million students who could save an average of $3,800 per year. This would put the total cost at a little more than $34 billion.
In a video accompanying the announcement, the president said that his plan would be "making two years of community college free for anyone who's willing to work for it." At $34 billion per year, taxpayers at least will be working for it, willing or not.
Note: A version of this post first appeared at The Weekly Standard.