Public colleges should be free

Kimberly LaRiviere, Columnist

The average cost for public colleges in the United States can cost up to $25,000 per year and average over $100,000 for a four year degree according to US News. This is a lot of money for many families struggling to afford to send their children to college. 

Private colleges can cost a lot more. Currently, the average debt that a college student graduates with is $28,000, according to CNBC. To give more opportunities for everyone to get a higher degree, it would be beneficial if all public colleges were free.

If college were to be free, I could envision being able to get more than one degree, which would allow me to be more versatile for future jobs. It could also potentially help anyone get into a graduate program that could enhance current job opportunities. When a person is free to expand their knowledge, they become a life-long learner.

According to an article done by the Huffington Post, “The cost of making public education free in America, would be between $15 and $30 billion. While this may sound like a large sum, it could actually save money.”

Currently, the government spends much more than the average sum on schools with low graduation rates. According to Business Insider, on average, only 30% of students who start college will graduate. The Federal government spends $175,000,000 annually on maintaining vacant buildings. All that seems pretty wasteful. What if the government spent that money on students?

There are lots of benefits that would come with a free higher education. An article done by the University of the People on debt-free education brings up how people can solve problems better when they are more educated, stating: “The work force will be more agile with the population more equipped to cope with economic changes.” 

Additionally, the article argues graduates could speed up their earning, saving, and spending if they did not have school debt after graduation.

Money remains a barrier for students seeking to gain more knowledge in a field they are passionate about. It is a barrier for students who come from low-income families. Due to this, financial burden discourages students from attempting, much less finishing, getting a higher education. 

Imagine how students could apply themselves to a college degree if money was not an issue. The future would contain a society that might be better prepared for changes in jobs, the environment, government and going into outer space. I would love to live in a society that is knowledge rich, not money burdened.