Free College Education Makes Sense

Aiden Lutjen, staff writer 

Despite higher education being free to the public in other countries, paying tens of thousands of dollars for post-high school education is still holding strong here in the good ol’ United States of America. The idea of not having to pour a life savings, and then some, into pursuing one’s desired career path is any college student’s dream. I mean, really, many students find themselves bending over backwards for even a chance at a partial scholarship. Millions of people (and more) are deep in debt from a few years of education they received decades ago. Whether those years of education were even able to be used for a desired career varies heavily. Along with that, millions of others can’t even go to college due to its massive price tag. Though I’m sure anyone reading this is well aware of this reality, probably even firsthand.

With all of that said, wouldn’t it be a good idea to just take payment out of the equation and provide college to anyone who wants it for free? After all, one of the main reasons that people don’t go to college is because of the cost. Why wouldn’t that be a good idea?

Believe it or not, there are people out there who think paying a life savings for four years of extra school is a very reliable way to keep your economy and country going!

As a college student paying tens of thousands of dollars to a university so I can actually pursue a living I am at least content with and be able to live with myself knowing that I’m doing work I at the very least occasionally enjoy, I struggle to understand how student loan forgiveness could be considered a bad idea. I’ve asked people with these viewpoints why they believe this so strongly, but their answers make about as much sense as asking what someone’s favorite color is and they just recite the Declaration of Independence word-for-word in reply. So, I finally turned to the internet for answers. If the people I know in real life can’t answer the question plainly, surely one of the billions of people online could, right? 

Right? No, actually! They can’t!

I have dug through website after website, looking for a reliable answer as to why free college would be a bad idea despite being successfully implemented in 22 different countries worldwide and have yet to find even a sliver of reason. The only true concern —in theory— is the fact that college funding has to come from somewhere, which would very likely be taxes, but that’s an answerable question and a solvable problem. I, for one, would be glad my taxes are supporting education.

I’d like to share with you some of the sad excuses I found: funding might be from taxing the rich more (as they should); college suddenly “wouldn’t be taken seriously” by students (like the majority of college is partying when, in reality, it’s kids pulling all-nighters because they have two exams in the morning); college education could decrease in quality due to lower funding (huh?); more people would go to college (don’t we want that?); it wouldn’t be fair to people who have paid their debt (the classic “if I have to suffer, so does everyone else”), and more! Someone even had the guts to say that only people who can fully afford college should be able to go…I’m getting dizzy.

It makes no sense to be against providing people with free education. The lack of valid reasoning to keep our current system is embarrassingly sad; we know it doesn’t work, yet we keep it just because some people feel better about letting a problem exist than wanting to go and fix said problem for the benefit of people. No wonder free-education countries point and laugh at us.