Is free tuition a must for the USA?

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Over the years, college tuition costs have gone up at an exponential rate. According to a report from CNBC, costs increased by roughly 25.3% at private colleges and about 29.8% at public colleges.

Students pay for college to cover their tuition and other college services that are useful to them. Lots of students use loans to pay for their costs. This results in rising college debt that can take years to pay off. As a result, multiple states in America have introduced programs that help students get on the right path. 

Free tuition means students apply for college through a program and they do not have to pay any money for their tuition. Free tuition gives students more freedom to explore different majors that they might like and boost the current American economy.

Programs like the Nevada Promise scholarship will reduce the risk of students going into debt. Free tuition can help build more jobs because our economy is dependent on many industries in the United States. 

College helps students develop skills that are necessary for the professional work field; however, David Deming from the Harvard Kennedy school makes it clear that “students and their families may not be able to afford college.” Deming also adds the economic impacts of these policies “should not just be measured in terms of increased attendance, but also persistence and degree completion.”

College is important because it helps students get the jobs that they want to support the economy. The evidence suggests that free tuition is a big piece to help boost our current economy.

In a normal world, students would usually pay the costs with scholarships and grants. The Nevada Promise is available in CSN, Western Nevada College, Great Basin College, and Truckee Meadows Community College.

“I was always afraid to pay off my education with my own money, so this scholarship really helped me out,” said Trey White, a freshman at CSN. “I feel more comfortable hanging out with my Intervarsity buddies knowing I can not only support myself, but my friends too.”

Other than the Nevada Promise, Nevada’s designated free tuition scholarship, the state of Tennessee has a similar program called the Tennessee Promise. According to Hieu Nguyen, free tuition programs typically have less rigorous academic requirements. 

The unfairness issue can get to some students primarily because of their different financial statuses. College costs should not become a discrimination factor when deciding who should be eligible for free tuition.

Free tuition is the key to granting new students diversity, accessibility, and new jobs. The Nevada Promise scholarship is one part of the growing trends to keep our students out of debt. 

If our state government does not address the growing rate of college costs, then the declining trends of job growth and enrollment will continue. The exponential rate of college tuition costs can only go down if new students enroll with free tuition.

This article was submitted by a student who is not affiliated with the newspaper as part of an assignment for a class. This article was reviewed by the Scarlet and Gray staff, and approved for publishing.

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