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Free college tuition may be a greater incentive for students

American University

American University

Sarah Gordon, Opinion Section Editor

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Low acceptance rates combined with the skyrocketing costs of tuition make for low incentive for many students to continue on to attend colleges.

Most institutions charge a hefty fee for each year. According to the College Board, tuition at a 4-year private institution in the year 2017-18 averaged around $32,410. This is far from affordable, and many will not find it reasonable to pay this cost.

What makes the most logical sense is to attend the alternative, cost effective public institution. However this also is not the case. The average cost for a student to attend an institution outside of their home state is about $23,890. For a student to remain in-state would cost about $9,410. This does not include the cost of room & board, books, and other various fees the school may require.

In simple, college is far from affordable. However, a study from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York still decided that college is still worth the rising cost. They note that the earnings are not only getting lower for degree earning employees, rather for all new employees.

Having a college degree gives a better edge when it comes to applying for jobs, showing more skills and making a candidate look more qualified compared to their non-degree holding competitors. It is a way to improve learning, expanding a student’s world views beyond their high school classroom.

Yet it still remains that so many avoid attending college due to the severe amount of debt so many face. In 2015, the total amount of student loan debt in America was estimated to be about $1.3 trillion, as established by the Federal Reserve Bank. Student loan debts are one of the biggest financial issues, and are the most harmful. For a lot of people they cannot imagine how college will be beneficial to them, as the high costs may keep them in debt for such a long period of time.

To establish a program for public colleges, either two or four year institutions, offering free tuition to those who cannot afford college otherwise will be beneficial to many. Philadelphia high school senior Caeden Cloud stated, “Free college would make it so that people don’t go to schools based on wealth but truly based on things that actually matter.” It will more of an incentive for those who could not justify the cost to attend, and help alleviate many student’s fear of being trapped in extreme debt. This is a way to help more students succeed down the road in their career paths and make a name for themselves.

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Free college tuition may be a greater incentive for students