Study: 'Free' community college would cost states billions

President Obama's free community college initiative would cost all states combined about $4 billion a year, according to a new paper from the conservative American Action Forum.

The cost would vary depending on the state. In low-population Vermont, the cost would be $7.4 million a year. In relatively crowded New York, free community college would cost $350 million a year.

In proportional terms, both New Hampshire and Oregon would have to increase their state budgets by 12 percent or more to afford the program. The average state would have to boost its budget by more than five percent.

That's in addition to billions of federal tax dollars required to support the program.