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Fabian Garvey

Professor Milton

English 101W

November 14, 2017

The Future of Free Tuition

Student loan debt is worse than what people think; in fact we can refer to it as a crisis. In

just a decade, student loan balance has jumped nearly 150 percent, with the average

student graduating with an average debt of $35,000 (Kantrowitz). Student loan debt

has now surpassed credit card debt and auto loan debt. With staggering numbers like

those, it is understandable that student load debt has taken a financial and mental toll on

college graduates. Lawmakers hear the desperation, see the state of our economy and

some are feverously searching for a solution to reduce the financial burden on young

people. Its unacceptable that many borrowers are struggling to pay their student loan

debt up into their forties. Making college tuition free will reduce students financial

burden, which will give students the opportunity to reach their full potential, regardless of

their social and financial circumstances.

Everyone should have the opportunity to get a college education as long as you

have the desire and the ability. No student should be denied higher education based on

social standings, background, and ability to pay. Making college free and accessible to all

students will in turn have a positive impact on our economy. For example, the

educational gap would close, allowing more Americans the opportunity to obtain higher

paying jobs. A college free program will benefit low-income graduates, particularly those
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of color will have less of a financial burden to open a business, buy a house, and start a


College should be tuition free similar to high school; there would be fewer

burdens on individuals and their families. No student debt equals less financial burden

on our economy. More individuals would get the education they deserve, which would

bring in more income into each household. One of the biggest advantages of a tuition free

college is that, more than ever before, we would be a nation of more college-educated

citizens. Senator Bernie Sanders believes this could be achieved by cutting back on some

government spending, What would help is not spending tens of billions more on weapons

systems or providing trillions in tax breaks for the rich. It is having a well-educated

population that can compete in the global economy, and making it possible that every

American, regardless of income, has the opportunity to get the education they need to

thrive (Carter)

How college loans exploit students for profit | Sajay Samuel

For decades universities and loan companies have exploited students to make a

profit; apparently financial exploitation is a lucrative business. The college loan system

mimics that of a business; students are viewed as consumers while colleges are viewed as

service provider (Samuel). The performance of for-profit colleges has taken on new
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significance in the past two decades because of the rapid growth of these institutions.

From 2000 to 2010, undergraduate enrollment at for-profit colleges quadrupled, with

federal grants and loans accounting for more than 90 percent of revenue at many schools.

For-profit colleges now account for over a third of all student loan defaults, even though

these institutions enroll just slightly more than 1 out of every 10 postsecondary students

(Shireman). Student loans and financial aid is believed to expand opportunities for

students in need but instead, they have created an epidemic of abuse. Its safe to ask;

whos really benefiting here?

Big loan companies are making billions in profit while borrowers struggle to

make loan payments. Many loan companies like Sallie Mae and Navient are making 1.2

billion dollars in profit off student debt, with false advertising or sales pitch from college

institutions. It is now widely acknowledged that many for-profit colleges engaged in

unsavory practices to maintain the flow of taxpayer dollars. By marketing to veterans and

low-income students eligible for the maximum amount of federal financial aid, owners

grew their schools rapidly, while overcharging and under-delivering along the way

(Shireman 2017).

An alarming 44 million Americans have taken out student loans to pay for college

cost, leaving graduates with a debt of 1.4 trillion. The high cost of obtaining a college

degree has left many graduates drowning in debt. College graduates have to pay for their

student loans soon after school ends. According to the Institute of College Access and

Success, The average student-loan debt of borrowers in the college class of 2011 rose to

about $26,500, a 5 percent increase from about $25,350 the previous year (Lewin

para.1). Students arent confident that they will be able to fulfill their loan repayment
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agreement. Approximately 60% of borrowers dont believe that they will be able to finish

repayment until there 40s (Carter, 2017). Many Student loans are in default because

wages are declining, while student debt increases.

Students arent the only ones affected by college debt; their families are too.

According to author Stewart Renehan, Parents are expected to bear the tuition of their

children; without the privilege of scholarship or full parental support, substantial student

loans are a necessity. Attending college has transformed from an intellectual pursuit to a

financially burdensome venture.

Rising debt and slow earnings has pushed student debtors into distress. The

Huffington Post provides an excellent graph that show how dire the student debt crisis

has become (Appendix 1). Taking out a college loan is a risky investment that can

have long-term implications. Students today are taking on more debt, and recently

tightened bankruptcy laws make it more difficult to shake that debt, and those factors

make higher education a risky investment. If you get this wrong, it's actually a mistake

that's hard to undo for the rest of your life (Peralta para.5).

Reporter Martin Lehren tells a story of Kelsey Griffith, a recent college graduate

from Northern University has already begun to work off her college debt. She had to cut

cost by moving back in with her parents, while working two restraint jobs. As an 18-

year-old, it sounded like a good fit to me, and the school really sold it, I knew a private

school would cost a lot of money. But when I graduate, Im going to owe like $900 a

month. No one told me that. This scenario is all too familiar for many college students.

Critics of the Free-tuition proposals are concerned that free tuition will cause

unfair competition and be a waste of money on some students that are not dedicated to
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completing college. Some colleges worry that they'll be overburdened with enrollment,

while some critics are concerned that the drop out rate wont change regardless of free

funding. Researcher Susan Dynarski expresses that she begs to differ, she saw a success

in students receiving scholarships to pay for the majority of college. She states:

The evidence suggests that Georgia's program has widened the gap in

college attendance between blacks and whites and between those from

low- and high-income families. The federal Hope Scholarship, should

have its intended effect on middle- and upper-income attendance, will also

widen already large racial and income gaps in college attendance in the


Georgias Federal Hope Scholarship has given lower and middle-income families the

opportunity to attend and graduate college similar to higher income families. This

scholarship shows how financial support can widen the attendance gap between black and

white students.

One thing is for certain; the future of obtaining a college degree may not be as

promising, if we continue to see college debt increase while financial aid decrease. The

only solution we have to prevent student loan from default, is to making college tuition

free. Tuition free college will reduce students financial burden, while giving them the

opportunity to reach their full potential, regardless of their social and financial

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Appendix 1

Huffington Post: Chart That Show Just How Dire The Student Debt Crisis Has

Become - Student Debt Significantly outpacing wage growth

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Works Cited

Carter, Shawn M. Bernie Sanders: One Thing Needs to Change in Order to Make

America Great. CNBC, CNBC, 10 Oct. 2017,

Dynarski, Susan. Hope for Whom? Financial Aid for the Middle Class and Its Impact

on College Attendance. National Tax Journal, vol. 53, no. 3, Part 2, 2000, pp.

629662., doi:10.17310/ntj.2000.3s.02.

Kantrowitz, Mark. Why Student Loan & Debt Crisis Is Worse Than People Think |

Money. Time, Time, 11 Jan. 2016,


Lehren, Andrew Martin; Andrew W. Student Loans Weighing Down a Generation With

Heavy Debt. The New York Times, The New York Times, 12 May 2012,


Lewin, Tamar. Student-Loan Borrowers Average $26,500 in Debt The New York

Times. 2012. Web. Date

Nasiripour , Shahien. 3 Charts That Show Just How Dire The Student Debt Crisis Has

Become. HuffPost, 3 Feb. 2016,


Peralta, Eyder. PayPal Co-Founder Hands Out $100,000 Fellowships To Not Go To

College New York Times. 2011. Web. Date

Renehan, Stewart "Rising Tuition in Higher Education: Should we be

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Concerned?," Visions for the Liberal Arts: Vol. 1: Iss. 1.

Samuel, Sajay. How College Loans Exploit Students for Profit. Sajay Samuel: How

College Loans Exploit Students for Profit | TED Talk,

Shireman, Robert. The For-Profit College Story: Scandal, Regulate, Forget,

Repeat. The Century Foundation, 24 Jan. 2017,