Americans owe more on their student loans than they do on their credit cards with average college students in $24,000 of college related debt. With tuition costs going up due to grant aid cuts, parents are starting to feel they can no longer afford to send their children to college. It is the poor and middle class who are unable to afford the very thing that enables their children to seek a better life.
$70 to $100 billion dollars is the estimated cost of tuition at public universities across the nation. It sounds like a lot of money, however, providing free higher education for American citizens would cost a little more than the Bush tax cuts for the top 2% of the country.
Free higher education would expand our economy. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates a college-educated person will earn $900,000 more over the course of a lifetime than a high school graduate. With college educated workers, are country will have the ability to discover new breakthroughs in biology, nanotechnology, or computer science that would create new industries and promote further prosperity. The wealthy would benefit the most from a well-educated and consequently well-paid work force. A work force that, as a result, would create demand for the products produced by the small businesses and companies the wealthy own.
THe price tag for free public college education would be less than $136 billion spent in Iraq and Afghanistan last year. We need to live up to our egalitarian promise that all people, regardless of wealth of social standing, have the same opportunity for success.
Title: To Hell With Student Loans — It’s time for College to be Free
Publication: AlterNet, November 18th, 201
Author: Dr. C. Alonzo Peters,
Faculty Evaluator: Elaine Wellin, Sonoma State University
Student Researcher: Erin Newton, Sonoma state University