Keyradin A. Washington

Free College

College costs are causing problems felt all over the country.

This country the United States Of America has many problems going on right now, but I have a solution for a lot those problems free college. Now you might be thinking right now how would that help or oh this is just another Bernie Sanders supporter or even someone who just doesn’t want to pay for college. I think that by allowing public colleges to be free the U.S will become the global juggernaut that it once was. People may say that free college will cause schools to lose a lot of their budget money although that might be true depending on how the bill for the law is written. But on the other hand the government could also write a bill in order for the use of a slight tax increase to happen in order to pay for all the tuition of the students.

The first issue that I will discuss is the insanely rapid increase in college tuitions and its full history. So my research went back to the first true universities the dark ages in Medieval Europe was absolutely no tuition which is insane compared to the modern universities. But it was a longer experience with a bachelor’s degree and 12 more years for anything higher. The older universities also lacked choice as law, medicine, theology, and the arts were really the only things that you could study (Medieval Colleges). This shows that while the colleges then were free the courses were not as in depth as paid colleges. Which would give the picture that free colleges were less funded then paid ones. And in 1796 a famous figure came up with the idea of making college free (it’s not Bernie Sanders he’s not that old) the 3rd president of the United States of Thomas Jefferson. He never saw his dream come true but the government gave him a $15,000 which is $276,448.79 in today’s money grant to start the University of Virginia (Writers).  This shows what could have created the ideology of free college in the U.S.  In the early 1800 colleges were mostly free but parents had to supply for board, food, clothing, etc.. in order for their child to stay. In 1870 Harvard was only $150 or $2,633.47 in today’s money and Brown University was half of that. Today Harvard’s tuition is over $60,000 which is almost 30 times the price then (Harvard Prices) .In the 1920’s the price of college doubled but because 20% of Americans went to school the price was went up to around $250. A pattern to notice here is that the more people that go to school the more it costs. This should not be because the more people who go the less of a need for money because they are getting more money. By 1973 the average private school costs $9,876 and public schools cost $2,175 which is almost 10 times the amount from the 20’s (Writers). This shows how college prices were inflating before the 70's and that there was a long history of college price inflation. But also there was a 29% increase in students which further proves my theory of the more people that go the more it costs. Also by the mid 70’s college prices were growing 5% faster than inflation which is ridiculous. By 2008 George Washington University becomes the first $50,000 tuition school  and the average tuition cost increased by 439% while the average income only increased by 147% which is just crazy . The average family has a smaller income than what Harvard gets from 2 years of tuition from one student.(Writers)

With college tuition prices constantly on the rise causing more and more students each year to get college debt. College and debt are just two things that go together like peanut butter and jelly or cereal or milk or even a knife and a loaf of bread. More people in the United States have college debt that there are people in our neighbors up north Canada (Huffington) this shows that the college debt in the U.S is a major epidemic spreading because of college prices.Since 1999, student debt has increased more than 500 percent. People aren’t only losing their money but their jobs as well as 617 people have lost their licenses to work in 2009 (Mccarthy). The people are losing their licenses to work on a weekly basis in a daily basis because of the extremely high college prices. But the government doesn’t want to stop this even though they have the power because they get all the profit from this in fact in 2013 the government made $50 billion dollars of student debt. Mr. or Mrs. president you could change this all you have to do is write the bill to end it all the suffering. This bill could stop all the lives of people who are striving to make a better future for them be ruined because of a greedy government. Families also inherit the debt as well like the family of Christopher Bryski who died young and his family had to inherit his debt and pay for it (Mccarthy). Think about how the entire Bryski family and how they have to suffer because of what you did to there dead son.

There are also many advantages from making college free is a better economy. Most people would answer that it helps the economy but how does it. Well for starters because so much money is needed to pay for college it regularly raises the inflation rate. And because the debt costs a lot to pay people will delay big purchases to pay it even further damaging the economy. And based on how much the country is based on the economy I think that making college cheaper will allow the economy to flourish more than ever.

I stand by my claim that making college free will turn the U.S into an economical juggernaut, a college debt free zone, and of course a better place to live.


Keyradin Adem

West Seattle High School

6th period LA9H

Hopkins Honors Introduction to Literature

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