College Tuition Should Be Free Because Education Is A Right, Not A Privilege

College Tuition Should Be Free Because Education Is A Right, Not A Privilege

College is typically a part of everyone's American dream, but instead, it seems to create a nightmare for families and students.

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If you're a college student right now then you probably have the grand price of tuition on your mind or the fact that you're going to have to pay back loans after you graduate. Debt is so common among college students and I strongly believe that college tuition should be free for public colleges and universities.

College tuition is free in countries like Finland, France, Germany, and Greece, where citizens are able to get the education they want for free. It turns out that Germany eliminated tuition because they believed that making students pay $1300 per year was discouraging Germans from going to college. In fact, according to Edvisors, "About two dozen countries provide free tuition or nearly-free tuition at public colleges and universities to their citizens." Education is such an important part of life and it is a great privilege, but I simply believe that it should be a privilege given to students who really want to learn and obtain a degree.

According to a summary from The Institute for College Access and Success, in 2012, 71% of all students graduating from four-year colleges had student loan debt. That number represents 1.3 million students graduating with debt, which increased greatly from 1.1 million in 2008 and 0.9 million in 2004. The numbers have continued to increase and increase for student loan debt.

In fact, in 2018 Americans owed over $1.48 trillion in student loan debt. This number was about $620 billion more than the total U.S. credit card debt. How is it that student loan debt is higher than both credit cards and auto loans? College is typically a part of everyone's American dream, but instead, it seems to create a nightmare for families and students.

As student loan debt has been increasing, so has college tuition in itself. Overall, the price to live has increased greatly in the past 20 years. According to an article by CNBC, students at public four-year institutions paid an average of $3190 in tuition for the 1987-1988 school year, and that average has risen to $9970 for the 2017-2018 school year. This statistic shows a 213% increase.

Bernie Sanders is trying to play a huge factor in making this social change. His belief system is surrounding the idea of making higher education more affordable for working-class families. One of his quotes says "We need a revolution in the way that the United States funds higher education." He is pushing to make college tuition free and debt free. On his website, Bernie quotes, "It is insane and counter-productive to the best interests of our country and our future, that hundreds of thousands of bright young people cannot afford to go to college, and that millions of others leave school with a mountain of debt that burdens them for decades."

He is emphasizing the fact that so many people want to go to school and learn, but because of the high price tag and the debt that can follow it, many don't and in a way are forced to settle for less. In all honesty, his thinking is the thinking that we need today. The thinking that will help students and create less debt.

According to an article from The New York Times, "We used to be No. 1 in the world, in terms of the percentage of people who graduated from college and universities. Today, we are No. 11…" It's sad to see how that has changed and how it has been having a real effect on people. This debt among college students and their families can indeed create problems and even mental health issues, such as depression, as many studies have shown.

According to a report on Student Loan Hero, in a survey of more than 1000 student loan borrowers in which they dug deep on the psychological effects of student loan debt, more than 70% reported suffering from headaches due to the stress of it. The truth is that you will be worrying about paying back your student loan debt because it never goes away. Even right now it is accumulating interest, and if you do file for bankruptcy, it still doesn't go away. It may take you time to pay, or it may take no time to pay, but overall, you will have to pay it back.

College tuition should start being free or at least cut down a bit because one way or another, college education is a right.

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It's Time To Thank Your First Roommate

Not the horror story kind of roommate, but the one that was truly awesome.
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Nostalgic feelings have recently caused me to reflect back on my freshman year of college. No other year of my life has been filled with more ups and downs, and highs and lows, than freshman year. Throughout all of the madness, one factor remained constant: my roommate. It is time to thank her for everything. These are only a few of the many reasons to do so, and this goes for roommates everywhere.

You have been through all the college "firsts" together.

If you think about it, your roommate was there through all of your first college experiences. The first day of orientation, wishing you luck on the first days of classes, the first night out, etc. That is something that can never be changed. You will always look back and think, "I remember my first day of college with ____."

You were even each other's first real college friend.

You were even each other's first real college friend.

Months before move-in day, you were already planning out what freshman year would be like. Whether you previously knew each other, met on Facebook, or arranged to meet in person before making any decisions, you made your first real college friend during that process.

SEE ALSO: 18 Signs You're A Little Too Comfortable With Your Best Friends

The transition from high school to college is not easy, but somehow you made it out on the other side.

It is no secret that transitioning from high school to college is difficult. No matter how excited you were to get away from home, reality hit at some point. Although some people are better at adjusting than others, at the times when you were not, your roommate was there to listen. You helped each other out, and made it through together.

Late night talks were never more real.

Remember the first week when we stayed up talking until 2:00 a.m. every night? Late night talks will never be more real than they were freshman year. There was so much to plan for, figure out, and hope for. Your roommate talked, listened, laughed, and cried right there with you until one of you stopped responding because sleep took over.

You saw each other at your absolute lowest.

It was difficult being away from home. It hurt watching relationships end and losing touch with your hometown friends. It was stressful trying to get in the swing of college level classes. Despite all of the above, your roommate saw, listened, and strengthened you.

...but you also saw each other during your highest highs.

After seeing each other during the lows, seeing each other during the highs was such a great feeling. Getting involved on campus, making new friends, and succeeding in classes are only a few of the many ways you have watched each other grow.

There was so much time to bond before the stresses of college would later take over.

Freshman year was not "easy," but looking back on it, it was more manageable than you thought at the time. College only gets busier the more the years go on, which means less free time. Freshman year you went to lunch, dinner, the gym, class, events, and everything else possible together. You had the chance to be each other's go-to before it got tough.

No matter what, you always bounced back to being inseparable.

Phases of not talking or seeing each other because of business and stress would come and go. Even though you physically grew apart, you did not grow apart as friends. When one of you was in a funk, as soon as it was over, you bounced right back. You and your freshman roommate were inseparable.

The "remember that one time, freshman year..." stories never end.

Looking back on freshman year together is one of my favorite times. There are so many stories you have made, which at the time seemed so small, that bring the biggest laughs today. You will always have those stories to share together.

SEE ALSO: 15 Things You Say To Your Roommates Before Going Out

The unspoken rule that no matter how far apart you grow, you are always there for each other.

It is sad to look back and realize everything that has changed since your freshman year days. You started college with a clean slate, and all you really had was each other. Even though you went separate ways, there is an unspoken rule that you are still always there for each other.

Your old dorm room is now filled with two freshmen trying to make it through their first year. They will never know all the memories that you made in that room, and how it used to be your home. You can only hope that they will have the relationship you had together to reflect on in the years to come.


Cover Image Credit: Katie Ward

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No, A Colored Student Did Not 'Steal Your Spot,' They Worked Hard To Get Here

I keep hearing this ignorant question of, "How come illegal immigrants can get scholarships, but I can't?"

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Real talk, this whole "they're stealing our resources!" thing has to stop.

It ranges from welfare to acceptance letters into prestigious universities. People (and by people, I'm referring to those who identify as white) have made the assumption that they are having their opportunities stolen by people of color. That's ridiculous.

I love my university. I love the people at my university. However, when I sit in a classroom and look around at my colleagues, the majority of them are white. Of course, there are some classes that are filled with more people of color, but for the most part, they're predominantly white. So, let's say that out of a classroom of 30 students, only 7 identify as people of color.

In what world can somebody make the argument that those 7 students are stealing the spot of a white student? I don't think people realize how hard those 7 students had to work just to be in the same spot as their white counterparts.

Let me use my experience: I am a Latina woman who is attending university on a full-ride scholarship. I don't always tell people about this, because I don't feel like being asked, "wow, what did you do to get that?!" A lot. I keep hearing this ignorant question of, "How come illegal immigrants can get scholarships, but I can't?"

First off, those "illegal immigrants" you're bashing, don't even qualify for financial aid. They don't qualify for most scholarships, actually. Second, have you considered that maybe, that "illegal immigrant" worked hard in and outside of school to earn their scholarship? I received my full-ride scholarship on the basis of my GPA, but also because I am a lower-class woman of color and was selected because I am disproportionately affected by poverty and access to a quality education.

So, this scholarship was literally created because there is an understanding that minorities don't have the same access to education as our white counterparts. It's not a handout though, I had to work hard to get the money that I have now. When white students get scholarships, it's not a handout but when you're Latina like me, apparently it is.

This way of viewing minorities and their education is damaging, and further discourages these people from receiving a quality education. We didn't steal anybody's spot, we had to work to get where we are, twice as hard as our white colleagues that are not discriminated against on a daily basis.

Instead of tearing down students of color because you didn't get a scholarship, why not criticize the American education system instead? It's not our fault tuition is $40k a year, and we have no reason to apologize for existing in a space that is predominantly white.

To students of color: you worked hard to get where you are, and I am proud of you. To white students: I'm proud of you too. We all worked hard to get to where we are now, let's lift each other up, not put each other down.

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