Free College Tuition
College should be accessible to anyone who wants to attend, regardless of income.
Dear Future President,
The American Dream is heavily reliant on a college education. Unfortunately, the price of college tuition has resulted in outrageous debt for many families who attend college.
A college education is required to pursue higher wages and a meaningful job. People with a college education, on average, earn about $1 million more than the average person without a college education in a lifetime. By 2020, two-thirds of job openings will require postsecondary education or training. (trends.collegeboard.org). We must ensure that anyone who wants to attend a college or university can be able to do so.
Even with the necessity of this education, over the past three decades, tuition at public four-year colleges has more than doubled. Since the school year of 1983-84, average tuition for all institutions has increased from $9,620 to 21,003 in 2013-14. Debt is a major issue that causes some students to drop out before they can get a degree. Undergraduate borrowers who finished college in 2014 are burdened with an average $28,950 in loans. (nces.ed.gov)
Reduced or free tuition of college would result in more students entering higher education institutions. This would improve America’s intelligence of future generations. An example of this is in Germany. Germany started charging tuition for college and university in 2006 and continued this until 2014. They then eliminated all tuition fees for college and universities again because they did not want to discourage youth from entering higher education institutions. A July survey by the Federal Reserve found 29.2 percent of those polled did not attend college because it was too expensive. 28 percent started but couldn't finish their education because of cost.
Even if you can afford it, tuition of the college still may affect someone’s future significantly. An example of this is my oldest sister. When she was deciding on which college to attend, the University of Wisconsin Madison was her top choice mainly because of its in-state tuition. This made it much cheaper than other colleges she may have wanted to attend more, such as the University of Montana.
The majority of Americans support free college tuition. A 2016 survey by Bankrate asked, “Would you support or oppose making tuition at public colleges and universities free for anyone who wants to attend?” Sixty-two percent said they would support it, 35 percent would oppose, and three percent didn't know. Most of the support of free tuition is from millennials. 79 percent support it, 64 percent of GenXers support it, and 49 percent of baby boomers support it. (Bloomberg.com) If the majority of Americans support it as this poll suggests, this should be a priority for the president.
So, how can the president make college tuition free? Senator Bernie Sanders has already laid out six steps as to how we can on his website, berniesanders.com. These steps include eliminating profit made off of student loans, cutting student loan interest rates, refinancing loans at current low interest rates, and other actions that can be made to eliminate unnecessary profit and spending to make a better future for people attending college.
Everyone in America deserves a post secondary education. Limiting the number of people able to enter college and continue to support themselves past their college years serves no benefits to the education of our youth and our country’s future.
Sincerely, Carl Voigt
Grade 10 Central High School