OPINION: State schools should be free


Skyler Simpson

Although state schools are typically less expensive, they can still be a financial burden on students.

What would you do with 902 billion dollars?

You could travel the world, many times over. Buy houses and cars for all your friends and family. Perhaps, you could eat at Chili’s every single day of your life.

Or, you could pay off the national student loan debt.

College is expensive. Really expensive, depending on where you go. Because of the price tag, students will often choose where they’re going to get their education based on finances. In reality, individuals should make their choice based on every factor but money.

If state schools were free, the obstacle of finances would be greatly diminished.

Now, this may not apply to every person, as not every person wants to go to a state school. However, for the people that are looking for an option between a community college and Harvard, going to a state school is a great fit. For instance, I know many people at North Penn that are applying to West Chester, myself included.

West Chester is definitely a cheaper choice in terms of schools, making it increasingly attractive to those who struggle financially. However, the price shouldn’t be the main draw. Academic rigor, social climate, and courses offered should be the main reasons that an individual considers a school.

Perhaps, if the government raised taxes just one percent for all economic classes and put aside that money to pay for college, it could become more than a mere piped ream for those who are looking to further their education.

If state schools were free, it would allow students to think about the truly important things when picking their college.

Another benefit is that students would have more money during and after college to spend on other important things. Rent payments and car insurance are just 2 examples of large expenses that individuals of that age group are likely to face.

Not having to pay tuition would free up a lot of income that students otherwise wouldn’t have. This allows them to live a healthier and happier life in general, not having to stress about college payments.

The most important reason that state colleges should be free, however, is that it prevents long-term debt. The repercussions that come with student loans can last a lifetime, leaving someone to pay off that debt for years to come, even decades.

According to CNBC, it can take up to 20 years to pay off student loan debt.

This means that when someone is finally out of college and ready to start the next part of their life, they’ll have a large fiscal responsibility that will likely hinder their future.

Some may argue that tuition from state schools is beneficial to the government. However, I believe the best interests of the people in this country should be prioritized over government finances. Not everyone is going to go to a state school, therefore, there will still be plenty of educational income coming through.

I’ve also heard the claim that because state schools are less expensive already, there’s no point to making it completely free. Although a few thousand dollars may make no difference to others, to most students, that gap can be the determining factor in where they go to college. Although they currently are cheaper than other colleges, state schools are still costly.

Education matters in this country, now more than ever. So many people are opting to go to college, so why not support them and their educational journey by making state schools free? It will make the American dream much more attainable, unhindered by financial downfall. Nothing should stand between an individual and their dreams – it’s truly priceless.