CONTRIBUTED: In America, nearly 70 percent of students graduated in 2020 with student loan debt around $29,000, according to www.studentloanhero.com.
Graduates of universities and community colleges are entering the workforce saddled with debt. Current, left-leaning political trends call for erasing students loan debt and offering free college for anyone who wants it in America. Though it seems far-fetched and like a dream in this country, I believe that making college free for students while they are in school would allow more people access.
There are many ways in which college could be free or less expensive. I advocate for the idea that college should be free for Americans until they enter the workforce and begin making money. At that time, a portion of income could go back to paying for education. Because we live in a capitalist society, the transition to completely free college is too great of a leap for our for-profit universities and mindsets.
Allowing people to enter the workforce, establish jobs and homes and then paying a nominal fee to help sustain and invest in public education for anyone who seeks it. Using vocational education and free community college programs (which you would never have to pay back), the number of people attending “free” universities would be offset.
I believe that students should have the right to pursue higher education even if they do not have the means to afford it. Socioeconomic challenges should not hinder one’s ability to learn at the collegiate level. One college graduate, over a lifetime, will make a million dollars more than someone who did not graduate from college. This staggering statistic benefits people who have the means to attend college, further perpetuating the disparities in our county.
To allow all people an education, something we already value in our free, compulsory public education is just an extension of our current beliefs. Showing that we value education and allowing all of the people in the country equal access to it is a move we need to make to show future generations that we are invested in each other and the growth of this democratic nation.