Hannah G Michigan

College Tuition Epidemic

With the upcoming election, college tuition has been a hot topic. Will this continue to be an issue or will someone step up and fix the problem?

Dear next President of The United States,

As a senior in high school heading to college, I have challenges ahead of me for paying for a higher education. I find a large problem with this and I think that it should be tuition free.

First, having tuition free college would help our economy. A study by Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce found that the US economy will have a shortfall of 5 million college educated workers by 2020 (Bergeron and Martin 2015). More and more jobs are requiring higher levels of education and a college degree is almost treated as a high school diploma once was. Giving the opportunity to go to college to all people across the nation would, in turn, give the country more college graduates. Having more college graduates in our society would generate more money in taxes, more local business spending, and economic leadership.

Next, the argument that everyone would just float through and get everything handed to them is completely false. You wouldn’t get into a good college with a 1.0 GPA. You would still have to be qualified and get good grades and a good standardized test score to be accepted: there just wouldn’t be a tuition cost. Not maintaining a good GPA and working hard during college would get you kicked out. I think with this proposal there should be some extra requirements needed to receive full tuition such as a good GPA, progress toward a degree, ect. It would essentially be like trying to keep a scholarship or a grant but everyone could start out with it if they got accepted into the school.

Lastly, this is not a fantasy driven goal. College free tuition is a completely achievable and realistic solution to this enormous epidemic. Annually we spend about $70 billion on student aid. The cost to make public universities available for qualified students without changing anything about their tuition costs would be around $62.6 billion dollars. Now this is just an estimated cost and it could very well be more expensive then we predict. If we tax millionaires and billionaires as much as Jan Schakowsky's Fairness in Taxation Act suggests, we would generate over $872 billion dollars over a 10-year time period which would cover free tuition if the cost even tripled. People pay for public schools in their taxes even if they choose to send their child to a private school and this is a realistically similar situation. With a relatively simple solution this should be taken care of ASAP.