Free College? Debt for All

Matthew Keeley, Enrik Pretashi, Samuel Pontes, Journalist

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Free college for you? Or Debt for everybody?  While some believe that college is too expensive, free college is an unrealistic solution for this issue. As Colin Delaney describes  “The quality of these institutions would be worse if college was free.” The average four year graduate earns 50,556 dollars; the service colleges across the country provide are most definitely worth the cost. Nowadays many believe the price of tuition has grown to uncontrollable levels, but when students graduate from big name schools such as Ivy Leagues, they find themselves set up in a much better position to find a career. One main problem is too many graduates leave college with no plan, and are not able to prepare themselves for the real world. Surly if college were free, these institutions would not provide such an advantage to their students. The question still arises, does the degree outway the debt?

Enrik Pretashi
Upcoming freshman being drawn into debt.

According to David Leonhardt writing for the New York Times “Americans now hold about 1.4 trillion in student debt.”American citizens now owe as much in student loans as the entire country of Australia’s gross domestic product. The sheer amount of student loans may surprise many however the debt is shared by more than 44 million students and graduates .College degrees provides a path for students to expand and refine their knowledge in preparation for their careers. Over 70% of high school graduates now attend some form of college in the coming fall. Students can specialize in their area of choice; superior to any subsequent education.

Samuel Pontes
Accepted for debt

Contrary to popular belief the majority of students are able to pay off their debt; the true problem arises when college attendees do not finish their degree. Without the level of earnings expected post graduation, they are left with debt and little pay. Judith Scott-Clayton found “the loan-default rate for borrowers with a bachelor’s degree was less than 8 percent. The default rate for borrowers without any degree was a miserable 40 percent” in a recent Brookings Institution study. Clearly a total debt forgiveness program or making colleges free of charge would be an unnecessary and wasteful use of government or private funds. As Colin Delaney described “The quality of these institutions would be worse if college was free”. College students undoubtedly understand the opportunity costs and benefits of their education, consistently making the choice to take on student loans perceived to be exorbitant only in the short run. There are opportunities to obtain a free college education. Elias Echevarria believes “military academies are a good option”. There are many ways to make a living without a college degree, such as entrepreneurship or through an apprenticeship.