Jackqueline Nevada

Free college tuition?

Should we provide two free years of community college for those who need the support to further their education?

Dear Future Madame/Mr. President

I am a junior attending Damonte Ranch High School in Reno, Nevada. I write to you to bring your attention to college costs and tuition. With the skyrocketing costs of college today, the main concern when choosing a future form of education seems to be more about whether a high school graduate can afford it or not. There are many side affects to the price of college (which also seems to be raising). The reason for these costs does not seem to make sense. Even though college is what people want, is it really free? Will college ever be sustainable? 

One side of the argument seems to believe in two free years of community college for those who are willing to work for it. “Federal funding would cover 75% of tuition, with the states picking up the rest of the cost”, according to Obama's plan which has been inspired by new programs in Tennessee and Chicago. This would be a major investment, but for higher education and the boost in our future economy it could be worth it. Of the students who have concerned parents when it comes to college tuition prices, only 66% of those students applied to colleges, meanwhile 99% of students with unconcerned parents applied to colleges. Students who then use loans are faced with large amounts of debt. Imagine how hard it must be if one dropped out of school due to trouble financing but they still have to pay off debt, and without a degree it'll only take them longer to pay it off. Yet the prices continue to rise. Colleges compete for their students by attracting them with top staff, the latest faculties, and newly built amenities. Also pay rolls have expanded by 28% from 2000 to 2012 due to the addition of non teaching jobs such as full time janitors, security, landscapers, and more. Seems to be that these elite college campuses really aren't worth all the money if they aren't focusing solely on education, so why do people waste time and money on them? 

On the other hand experts have said that the two free would cost the federal government tens of billions of dollars. Free college isn't exactly as it seems.”’Free public college is a great political talking point but it is a flawed policy.’” The cost is simply only pushed onto taxpayers and away from students. Then that itself means trouble, for tuition is in the hands of the public. “That tuition cap limits college spending to whatever the public is willing to invest.” With the possibility of college for more people, it means increased enrollment, which further multiplies the cost of college. In the past, public funding hasn't done much change. In California, during the recession, enrollment went up, and the state budget didn't cut it. California's community colleges turned away 600,000 students due to being unable to raise additional revenue. The access to education will shorten rather than increase and the free public spots in school will be taken from those who need it the most. What should be done instead, according to some, is that rather than spending federal amongst all students, they should target those resources towards those who need it most and empower them.

I believe that the two years of free community college could potentially benefit us. Things like waterslides and brand new technology every year that the most selective schools are using to attract high income students, isn't going to benefit us as much as equal opportunities for education for everyone. Money is being wasted on these high end colleges amenities while students struggle to even get an education. The money being spent could go towards much greater things to further us as a country. This is a very personal subject to me for I would be the first to go to college in my family (or at least even consider it). One of the main things that has held my family back on getting a higher education is finances, which then has left them in a financial rut due to not being able to get further into more successful careers and now i'm faced with the fact that my mother can't pay off college tuition for me.


Jackqueline R.

"The Real Reasons a College Degree Costs so Much." CNBC. Getty Images, 16 June 2015. Web. 07 Nov. 2016.

Pumphrey, @SurvivinCollege Chris. "Infographic: The Side Effects of College Costs | Surviving College." Campus Riot. Campus Riot, 14 Feb. 2014. Web. 07 Nov. 2016.

Bureau, Tribune College. "President Proposes Two Years of Free College for Students." Newsela. Newsela Staff, 12 Jan. 2015. Web. 07 Nov. 2016.

Kelly, Andrew P. "The Problem Is That Free College Isnt Free." The New York times. New York times, n.d. Web.

Damonte Ranch High School

2nd Period

11th and 12th grade students. Dramatic Literature.

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