There are few things hotter in the mind of Millennial’s and the generation under us than free college. It is being talked about on the campaign trail and is being spoken of nationally as a debate raging on with the youth on one side and the older generations representatives on the other. It all stems from good reason: The student loan debt bubble that has formed. The younger generations either going to be, currently in, or have gone to college within the last lets say 10 years are in the bubble with an enormous amount of debt, so much that the cost of living rising and wages not growing enough across the board to keep up with both has brought us to the issue of free college.
Although I am part of this issue very much as anyone else in my generation of Millennial’s, I see the issue from both sides. Some of the arguments for free college are not feasible, which is what many of my peers fail to see. Another part is it is easy to say if you want to go to college you acknowledge the debt you will accumulate, or don’t go at all which is what older generations are saying really is not a great argument either.
Why it is a great idea; The argument for free college:
- Minimizing debt and shrinking it (You cannot eliminate it) would definitely help down the line. Older generations will not understand because they have made money through ups and downs of job and market volatility yet have started careers after attending colleges and university’s for pennies compared to todays costs.
- More people will go if the costs are lowered and that will lead to more leaders and innovation that come from post secondary education.
- The least the government could do is give interest free loans. The same consequences for default, just no profiting off kids who are in school.
Why free college is a dumb idea:
- Just because college is tuition free does not mean that the school cannot increase your fees. It is endless cycle if that happens because then if tuition is free and the protest get what they want, the school can raise the fees very easily and then there will be protests about that.
- Most students going to school today do not understand how economics and socioeconomics works. If you are in a Bachelor’s Degree program for art history or criminal justice you are not taught for the most part how certain things affect other when you give and take, just because the fact that’s not what your program involves. So to someone going to school free college sounds great, but they fail to realize the outcome is not feasible. Someone has to pay for the free college because states get “X” amount of money from the tuition paid, where would that money come from afterward?
These are the factors of the debate that is pressing this issue so much. As much as I am for free college, it just doesn’t work like that. I am a finance student and I can tell you from what I have learned in the classroom, to read from the experts this is not a possible long term solution.
My suggestion is to start with the loans by having them carry zero percent interest rates. After that a more sizable solution would be either no fees for out of state tuition at state schools, or tuition free community colleges.