Why College Tuition Should Be Free

Why College Tuition Should Be Free

No, it has nothing to do with me being a millennial.
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Yes, I am a millennial. No, I'm not entitled. Yes, I believe that college should be free. Just hear me out.

By making college free, people who couldn't afford to go to college would be able to go. If you are able to succeed and pass classes in college, then you should be allowed to do just that regardless of how much money you and your family currently make. It's as simple as investing in our futures; what could be so bad about a well-educated country? Nothing!

If college graduates no longer had to pay off their student loans after graduating, they would be able to contribute more money to the economy. Free college has succeeded in Germany, Brazil, Finland, Sweden, Slovenia, and Norway. Our nation's student loan debt has exceeded $1.2 trillion, a debt that well surpasses credit card and mortgage debt. Another thing is that college tuition would be free for people who can't easily afford it. Families above a certain annual income would still be required to pay for tuition.

Students would be able to focus more on school and wouldn't have to figure out where to get the money for their next semester of college. The only cost would be room and board, which would be much more manageable. Students who don't get funding from the government or whose parents can't afford to cosign their loans would still be able to attend college. It is a matter of fairness and equality. If we want the best and smartest people to succeed, then what is known as "the great equalizer" should be more accessible.

If the government and tax payers were to pay for public universities and colleges, there would be more inspection into where tuition money is going. Universities wouldn't be allowed to run their institutions like a business. Less money would be spent on unnecessary items such as increases in the president of the college's salary, increases in athletic funding, among other things.

Now to address two of the biggest complaints I hear from people who disagree. The first is that "college students should have a stake in their college education." The government would have expectations of all students that plan on attending college. If they want the government to pay for it, they would have to maintain a certain GPA to remain eligible for this benefit. They would also be expected to graduate within the normal time frame--four years. This makes students just as invested in their education.

The second of the two biggest complaints I hear is: "'Free college' isn't actually free, it still needs to be paid for. Where is that money going to come from?" Our country spends more than $601 billion on the military, which is more than the next seven highest spending countries combined! The U.S. could pay for the tuition by lowering the military's budget by $47 billion, and the remaining $23 billion would be paid by the states.

Overall, making college tuition free for those whose family make under a set amount of money per year would open up the "great equalizer" to those who can't afford it by making it more accessible. College students would be able to contribute more to the economy, and our national college debt would be much lower. My view has nothing to do with being a millennial. I am not entitled; I believe that anybody who can succeed in college should be able to go. Money should not be a limiting factor when it comes to obtaining a college degree.

Cover Image Credit: Huffington Post

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An Open Letter to the Person Who Still Uses the "R Word"

Your negative associations are slowly poisoning the true meaning of an incredibly beautiful, exclusive word.
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What do you mean you didn't “mean it like that?" You said it.

People don't say things just for the hell of it. It has one definition. Merriam-Webster defines it as, "To be less advanced in mental, physical or social development than is usual for one's age."

So, when you were “retarded drunk" this past weekend, as you claim, were you diagnosed with a physical or mental disability?

When you called your friend “retarded," did you realize that you were actually falsely labeling them as handicapped?

Don't correct yourself with words like “stupid," “dumb," or “ignorant." when I call you out. Sharpen your vocabulary a little more and broaden your horizons, because I promise you that if people with disabilities could banish that word forever, they would.

Especially when people associate it with drunks, bad decisions, idiotic statements, their enemies and other meaningless issues. Oh trust me, they are way more than that.

I'm not quite sure if you have had your eyes opened as to what a disabled person is capable of, but let me go ahead and lay it out there for you. My best friend has Down Syndrome, and when I tell people that their initial reaction is, “Oh that is so nice of you! You are so selfless to hang out with her."

Well, thanks for the compliment, but she is a person. A living, breathing, normal girl who has feelings, friends, thousands of abilities, knowledge, and compassion out the wazoo.

She listens better than anyone I know, she gets more excited to see me than anyone I know, and she works harder at her hobbies, school, work, and sports than anyone I know. She attends a private school, is a member of the swim team, has won multiple events in the Special Olympics, is in the school choir, and could quite possibly be the most popular girl at her school!

So yes, I would love to take your compliment, but please realize that most people who are labeled as “disabled" are actually more “able" than normal people. I hang out with her because she is one of the people who has so effortlessly taught me simplicity, gratitude, strength, faith, passion, love, genuine happiness and so much more.

Speaking for the people who cannot defend themselves: choose a new word.

The trend has gone out of style, just like smoking cigarettes or not wearing your seat belt. It is poisonous, it is ignorant, and it is low class.

As I explained above, most people with disabilities are actually more capable than a normal human because of their advantageous ways of making peoples' days and unknowingly changing lives. Hang out with a handicapped person, even if it is just for a day. I can one hundred percent guarantee you will bite your tongue next time you go to use the term out of context.

Hopefully you at least think of my friend, who in my book is a hero, a champion and an overcomer. Don't use the “R Word". You are way too good for that. Stand up and correct someone today.

Cover Image Credit: Kaitlin Murray

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Sorry People, But #BelieveWomen Is #UnAmerican

Presumption of innocence is a core American value

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There's a saying: "Lack of faith and blind faith - both are equally dangerous". Believing sexual assault accusers who are women just because they are women besides being the very definition of sexist - prejudice based on sex - is setting a harmful precedent on the way justice is served in this country. See, what this movement has done is changed justice from "prove guilt" to "prove innocence", an important and incredibly dangerous difference. Where is the due process that our Founding Fathers envisioned, fought, and died for?

Due process is an integral part of the reason why we have the United States of America. It was so important to our Founding Fathers that they included it in the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Eight (the Bill of Rights), and Fourteenth Amendments of the Constitution. It galls me to see how privileged modern day feminists are - so privileged they seemingly forget the freedoms this country affords them, so they may live their life, expect liberty, and be unhindered in their pursuit of happiness.

#BelieveWomen is a vigilante movement - and with vigilante justice the innocent always hang with the guilty, one of the very reasons for due process. I've heard the argument it's better to let innocent men rot in jail than have rapist men walk free, an argument, despite being incredibly moronic and unAmerican, that would not be made if the accused was a man close to the woman's heart. Because with the change to "prove innocence", the assumption will be guilt, and a confirmation bias will be created. Whereas if the assumption is innocence, the jury must be convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that a crime has occurred. I understand that a high percentage of rape accusations are truthful (I believe the number is in the high 90s), but the small percentage that are not means we cannot, in good conscience, assume guilt. To assume would damn some men to a fate they do not deserve, a fate they would have to endure simply because of their sex. Any real feminist should be appalled at how sexism is implicitly encouraged in this movement.

If you choose to #BelieveWomen in spite of everything I outlined, that is your prerogative, but you must #BelieveAllWomen. If your father, husband, boyfriend, or son gets accused, you must #BelieveWomen and stand with their accuser. Any less and your feminist privilege will show. Vocal #MeToo activist Lena Dunham has already shown her privilege - accusing actress Aurora Perrineau of lying about being assaulted by her friend Murray Miller. When the going gets hard, feminists rarely stick to their principles. And sadly, feminism - and the double standards it always brings - rears its ugly head once again.

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