June 20, 2019
  • 9:21 pm The Bulletin’s Public Records Request Offers Springboard to Launch Gender Equity Discussion at CSUDH
  • 4:27 pm Black is the New Black: Raising the Capital on the “B” Word
  • 10:53 am Guns Up for Arrest: Student advocacy group pushes for CSU No Gun Zones–Including the Police
  • 4:09 pm Staff Editorial: Words on the First
  • 8:42 pm Carson Mayor Blasts Media, Landmark Libel Case in Keynote Address
  • 9:27 am Free Speech Week Calendar of Events Update
  • 6:02 am Food for Thought: 40% of Students are Food Insecure
  • 3:12 pm Academic Senate Rejects CSU GE Task Force & Report
  • 3:06 pm Work To Be Done
  • 5:56 pm ASI Elections: What You Need to Know
  • 8:02 pm CSUDH President Parham Announces Cancer Diagnosis
  • 9:47 am CSUDH Art Professor’s 20-Year Journey Results in First Local Showing of Film
  • 9:13 pm Free Speech or Free Hate area?
  • 9:08 pm CSUDH’s Best & Brightest Shine at Student Research Day
  • 9:05 pm Academic Senate Approves Gender Equity Task Force
  • 12:37 pm When Dr. Davis speaks, Toros Pay Close Attention
  • 3:38 pm Investing in the Future: Dr. Thomas A. Parham Reflects on the Past Eight Months and Contemplates​ the University’s Future
  • 3:24 pm Green Olive to Open By End of Feb; Starbucks Not Until Fall
  • 3:20 pm Gov. Newsom’s Proposed Budget Hailed for Extensive Funding Increases
  • 3:08 pm Out of the Classroom: Labor and Community Organizing Course Aims to Teach Students How to Organize for Social Justice
  • 2:54 pm The Other Route in Professional Sports
  • 9:02 am Hail to the New Chief, CSUDH President Thomas Parham
  • 3:36 pm Career Center Holds Major/Minor Fair
  • 5:34 pm After Unexpected Delay, Undocumented Becomes More Intimate Theatrical Production
  • 1:30 pm What to Expect When You’re Expecting New Buildings
  • 8:37 am University Police Investigating Possible Hate Symbol Found on Campus
  • 12:31 pm FOR JAMI
  • 12:30 pm Tenure on Track?
  • 12:27 pm MBA In Limbo

By Alex Graf
News Editor

If you’re a college student struggling with the financial burden of getting a four-year degree, you’re far from alone. According to the Federal Reserve, American college students carry a whopping total of $1.48 trillion in student loan debt among 44.2 million borrowers, which comes to $39,400 per borrower.

But what if instead of paying off loans, new college graduates had more cash to pump into the economy by starting a family, and investing in things like homes, cars and other commodities? There’s a simple solution to these problems, and the answer is making public college and university tuition-free. After all, we already fully fund public education for grades K-12. Is making the next four years of schooling really all that outrageous?

At first, tuition-free college may seem like a radical, prohibitively expensive idea, but a closer look reveals a different picture. Countries like Norway, Slovenia, France and Finland already offer free or nearly free degree programs, and those are just a few examples.

Germany, offers tuition-free college to all students including those who come from other countries to study abroad.

As it turns out, the idea of tuition-free college isn’t actually all that radical and has extensive public support. According to an August Reuters poll, 60.1 percent of Americans support the idea. Even within our own borders, tuition-free college of varying degrees has been implemented successfully in places already. For example, Tennessee and Oregon have already made community college tuition-free, though it’s worth noting those programs aren’t as comprehensive as the tuition-free programs abroad, and a lot of students are left out.

In regards to the cost, the funding for such a program wouldn’t be as difficult to come by as detractors would have you believe. According to the New America Foundation, the federal government spent $69 billion, not including loans through financial aid programs like Pell Grants, tax-breaks and work-study funding in 2013. According to data from the Department of Education, that’s more than the additional $62.6 billion that tuition-free college would cost annually.

A different way to frame the cost of tuition-free college is to compare it to our bloated military budget. The War on Terror (post 9/11 wars) for instance, will cost the U.S. $5.9 trillion through 2019 according to the Watson Institute. For the same amount of money, the U.S. could have funded tuition-free college in the U.S. for several decades.

The point is, the United States just doesn’t value education in the same way we appreciate blowing people up. Wouldn’t tuition-free college have been a better investment than the endless cycle of foreign intervention the U.S. has engaged in for decades? While we’re at it, we could even look into canceling all student loan debt, creating universal pre-k, and fully funding trade schools and apprenticeships.

Some of the most bipartisan votes in Congress have been to increase the military budget by tens of billions of dollars. With a majority of American supporting college for all, why shouldn’t Congress be able to pass a bold education package similarly? Perhaps it’s time to fundamentally change the way we think about education in this country. Perhaps it’s time for a change of priorities.



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