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.