Free College Education Is Overdue for the U.S. Students

Zoe Boswinkle, Reporter

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In the high school, students are expected to take classes to prepare for their future. The goal of high school is to start students on the path for their future education such as trade school, college, etc. For most students, getting a scholarship is the only realistic way to get into the college of their dreams. Even with scholarships, certain colleges are too expensive for an average student to attend. As our economy and workforce change, there are higher expectations for the minimum amount of education a student must possess to attain even the most basic level jobs. A college degree is required for more jobs than ever before.

According to studentdebtrelief.us, “The average student today graduates from college $37,172 in student debt. For graduate and professional students, the amount is significantly higher. People facing that kind of debt, often do not have a lot of money to contribute to the economy. Our total student loan debt in this country is $1.48 trillion, which is far more than credit card debt ($1.023 trillion). If people did not have such massive student loan debt, they could buy houses, buy consumer items and contribute more to the economy.”

Debt from college can damage college students credit and keep them from starting off their adulthood on the right foot. “Higher education should be free because we, as students, shouldn’t have to go into debt for our career choices. If high education was free, students could chose the career choice best fit for them. Expensive college tuitions will keep students worrying about paying back high loan debt for years,” said sophomore Aubrey Wallace.

Certain countries around the world such as Finland, Argentina, Denmark, Germany, Uruguay, and Sweden offer free college education for their counties’ citizens. According to hechingerreport.org, “German university enrollment rose by 22 percent as tuition disappeared.” Countless testimonies such as this exist furthering the idea that making college tuitions free for students is not only possible, but would benefit universities all around the country.

“College tuition should be free because we are the future and if our future is expensive that will hold many capable students from reaching their potential. Student loan debt affects students by causing stress and financial burden that will follow some students for years,” said sophomore Trinity Denny.

On the other hand, many students feel like college tuition is something they have to earn. Some students and parents alike feel as if in order to get into an expensive college, students have to work to get a scholarship and that no one should be handed anything for free. However, not all students are afforded the same opportunities, and therefore don’t have the same money to put into their college tuition; even with a scholarship.

Although having college tuition be free would have some negative side effects as a higher tax rate, the benefits seem to outweigh the negative effects. Students would be able to pursue any degree without fear of the expenses of student debt holding them back. Free college tuition is a reality for many first world countries, and the United States is past due to adjusting to this change. Free college tuition may not be a reality yet for the United States, but with hard work students can voice their opinion and try to change this reality.