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Would Free College Work?



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For anyone who has studied economics, like this humble author, the notion that there is no such thing as a free lunch is pounded into students from day one. Everything costs something such as money or time or effort, and nothing is ever free.

However, being free as in costing no money is what people want for their college education. The debate over this issue has been raging for years and hasn’t gotten anywhere because both sides are so passionate about their side.

Still, would free college work in America as it has throughout the rest of the world?

The benefits of free college

Free college would help the entire world, as supporters argue that education will help employers gain more people to do technical jobs. As many of today’s jobs are skills based and require knowledge to perform, education can help students make large advances in their chosen fields.

Other people see that college is a right of all Americans because regardless of race or social status everyone has the right to a high education to become the best human that they can be. Plus without the pressure of debt, the students could deal with their majors and studies.

Free college around the world and at home

Several countries in Europe, such as Denmark, Sweden, and Poland, have adopted free education and allowed their students to graduate with significantly less debt. Some cases even have students leaving college with 1,000-3,000 dollars of money to pay off, and most of that money stems from common expenses and not tuition.

In addition, the free countries pay about the same amount for education from their nation’s GDP. Even Canada, while not having free college, still has cheaper student loans than the United States. Despite these examples to follow, the U.S hasn’t gotten on board yet.

Some states have a free community college or have plans to make their community college free for two years. The state of Michigan has the Kalamazoo Promise, which states that any student enrolled in the Kalamazoo schools until they graduate can have their undergraduate loans covered. This has caused a spike in both students completing high school and attending college.

Other alternatives

The U.S does have an income based system for those students who have difficulty paying the loans, where their loans are tied to their income. The more they earn, the quicker the loans are paid off. If they earn less after a certain period of time, the loans simply expire.

Australia is using this system to help give lower earning students peace of mind, especially if they are heading into traditionally lower-paying fields like writing and music, in order to help them develop their talents and make the money they can without worries for the future.

This system, if made available for all students, can ensure that everyone will have the opportunity to earn an education, and then pay it back later as they earn an income and pursue their passion.

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