The student news website of Omaha Central High School

Free In-State Tuition

December 14, 2018

For years, many political figures have made comments alluding to making college tuition free – or more affordable at the very least. However, it’s clear that college tuition has only increased throughout the years, rather than making it more affordable for students. As of March 2018, there are 44.5 million student loan borrowers in the United States who owe over $1.5 trillion combined. Unless a student has an outstanding ACT or SAT score or is a talented athlete, their only option is to hope FAFSA assists them, as well as applying to tons of independent scholarships. Not surprisingly, FAFSA has a relatively small maximum of assistance that they are allowed to provide to each student – which almost forces students to take out loans. But many feel that if tuition were offered free to in-state students, this crisis could eventually come to a halt.  

One benefit of introducing free in-state tuition would be that more students would feel more freedom in choosing their career. For example, a student might want to become a dentist but choose not to pursue that career because they know that they will have the cost of tuition for eight (or more) years racked up and needed to pay back. But if in-state tuition were free, more students would take the more economical route and not have to worry about paying over $100,000 back to a school that is already in their home state. When some students feel as though they cannot handle receiving any more debt or obtain any more assistance, they may choose to drop out of college to save money. Without the cost of tuition, more students would be able to graduate and pursue their career in an economical way.  

There are many students who would hate the idea of staying in-state for college and would rather choose to go out of state and pay thousands. Not only would these institutions still get funding from the government, but they could also get money from the out of state students who choose to go there. And even though in-state tuition would be free, I think that room and board prices should increase slightly and be the only expenses that students should have to plan for- which can still be expensive for some schools. For a traditional four-year university, students will still have to spend in the thousands to be able to stay on campus. But this way, scholarships could be much more helpful in releasing the stress of students trying to figure out their finances. Ten-thousand dollars a year for room and board would be much more manageable for students than nearly $25,000 a year – for four years.  

Not only would more people be more willing to go to college, but the younger generation could be able to live a more fulfilling life. They could be able to actually buy cars, afford healthier and organic food and buy houses rather than apartments. When you think about it, the average traditional American student has nearly $40,000 in debt to pay back once they leave college. But without that burden, they would have more money to purchase more beneficial things.

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