I think this idea is an interesting one. I particularly like the suggestion of the lightweight experimentation to try out in your community. I have two comments/question to explore. First, What is the implication of engaging/linking the businesses (overall or by section, i.e, health care, etc. to the educational institutions in the community in the process? Would this help bring about some clarity for the students about how long things take and what they cost (as offered by David D.).
My second comment/question is related to the "student education plan" outlined as step 2 of 3 above. Affordability, while critical, may also require a different kind of engagement/participation on the part of the community to make this effort success. Is there any value to building into the steps mentors and a support structure to enhance the student's success during and beyond the education funding process?