As many of you know, this past week, New York became the first state to offer tuition-free college. Many college students were ecstatic to hear about this, while I find myself not so ecstatic.
I feel like my generation loves everything that has to do with being "free." Many kids in my generation feel like they deserve everything handed to them. This isn't an article to bash my generation, but this is an article to inform them what it 'free' education means, and what it brings with it.
I'm not saying college should keep being 20,000+ every year. Hell, I'm not trying to be in debt when I graduate next year, and I can speak for everyone on that. I believe our education should be more affordable, not free. Nothing in life is free, and quite frankly, it's impossible for something to be free.
Before I start my list of reasons what will happen if college is 'free,' let me ask you a question... Is elementary school free? Middle school? High school?
No. So where's that money coming from? The people of your town are paying for it within their taxes... so if lower levels of education aren't free, what makes you think that college can be free, or should be free?
1. Our taxes will increase
New York State is already known for its high taxes, what will happen with free college in place? Within the first year of free college alone, the program is expected to cost AT LEAST $163 million.
2. Say goodbye to small class sizes
With New York State being the only state that offers free tuition for students, you can bet that many students aren't going out of state to get their degrees. What does this mean? All these students will now be attending state schools, which means increased class sizes.
3. Say goodbye to certain activities
One of the greatest parts of college are the activities they offer, which are of course included in your tuition. The only way for our universities and colleges to afford the mass influx of students is by taking away these activities that we take for granted.
4. For those who don't qualify, expect an increase in your tuition.
Did you ever take AP Macro in high school? One of the things that I actually learned from the class, and took with me, was when there's a high demand for something, the price increases as well.
I've seen people tweet and make comments on Facebook about how those who don't want free college are selfish, but let me just clear the air for you on this one... I'm NOT selfish in any way, shape, or form, for wanting college at an AFFORDABLE price. I believe college is a luxury, if you work hard in high school, get the grades, then you're rewarded with a higher education. I don't want taxes increasing as they already cost our families bundles of money, I don't want an increase in my tuition every year, and I don't want to lose the extra activities that my school provides for me and others. I believe that everyone should have the privilege to go to college, but we earn that privilege, with hard work and determination. Just because a student's parents make an income over $100,000 a year, doesn't mean they're rich or they're wealthy. Earning $100,000 a year, especially in a state like New York means nothing. The government/FASA and all those other industries that have to do with financial aid, tuition and scholarships should really take a look at what parents have to pay for in their lives, besides their annual net income. They should look at the other children that will be going off to college eventually, how much money they spend on food in a given week, car payments, and every other necessity of life that costs our parents something. Plus, for the students whose parents seem to be "well off" many of them aren't paying their students loans for them.
So do I think college should be free? No, absolutely not. Do I think it should be affordable? Yes, I believe college should be affordable for everyone.
There's a difference.