HomeOP-EDShould College be Free?

Should College be Free?

There has been a prolonged controversy over college funding, savings, and student debt amongst students, parents, and the government. The most common question is, “Why is it so unnecessarily expensive and where is all of the money going?” From books to meal plans to housing, it can be very stressful for students.  

According to cnbc.com, around 44 million Americans are in some form of student loan debt, which adds up to $1.7 trillion in money owed.  The U.S. holds the record for the country with the highest student loan debt and the most expensive education. The people that are suffering from student loan debt do not only include students that are enrolled, or previously enrolled in college, but also adults of all ages, who have graduated, and who have already started the careers they went to college for. In some cases, it is even possible to end up paying more in student loan debt in the long run, than some people ever make in their annual salary.  

There have been some attempts in reducing student loan debt, and even the cancellation of it altogether. One of President Joe Biden’s promises for his presidential campaign was that he would attempt to come up with a system to forgive, if not cancel, all student loan debt. Though, the task may have been harder than he had realized. So far, he has been able to make receiving student loan forgiveness easier and began to push back multiple payments for those in debt. Overall, this is still impressive considering how prominent and strict the government is over its funding and money. 

College is by far one of the most expensive segments of life, especially for students seeking education in the more “complicated fields.” Career fields such as dental school and medical school have an average debt of over 200,000 dollars. Though professions such as these have a higher salary than the average profession, the time and effort put into their work is immediately tarnished by their debt. 

Debt and college not only affect pockets, but also can eventually lead to mental health issues. Many students have expressed how stressful obtaining a steady income is while paying for essentials for class. Stress over financial debt from college causes some students to drop out, lose motivation for their work, and even stop some from attending college in the first place which is why some students choose to attend community colleges which are cheaper and more than likely closer to home. 

In my opinion, college should not necessarily be “completely” free. Students should be responsible for smaller things such as meal plans, books, etc., but they should not be paying thousands of dollars for their education. With proper budgeting and government funding, the burden of college funding could be relieved for many students. 

Jaimee McCullen
Jaimee McCullen
Jaimee McCullen is a Sophomore Mass Communications major from Natchez, Mississippi. She will be a contributor for The Campus Chronicle for the 2023-2024 academic school year.


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