Bernie Sanders recently held a town hall to promote the College for All Act. The average college student graduates with $30,000 in debt (triple the amount of debt held by graduates 20 years ago) and activists argue the U.S. should make college tuition-free so individuals can more easily participate in the modern economy. But critics say free college is a one-size-fits-all approach to a complex problem, and students should have a vested interest in their own education.What do you think?
There is no question that student loan debt is a huge problem in the U.S. and it's only getting worse. The average debt for those in their twenties is $22,135 and the average for those in their thirties is $34,033. A recent poll found 56.4 percent of Americans felt student loan debt was a bigger threat to the U.S. than nuclear war with North Korea.
Sen. Bernie Sanders has long pushed for tuition-free college and recently introduced legislation with other Democratic Senators including Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris that would do just that. The College for All Act would "eliminate tuition and fees at four-year public colleges and universities for families making up to $125,000" and make community colleges "free for all."
Education advocates have been pushing lawmakers to address the student loan crisis in the U.S., and Sanders believes tuition-free college is the logical answer.
Bernie Sanders: Make college free for all
But not everyone believes tuition-free college is the best solution to the problem of student loan debt. President and Professor of Economics at Vassar College Catharine Hill argues in The New York Times that while tuition-free college sounds like a great idea in the abstract, it would lead to a number of negative, unintended consequences.
Hill also argues that students may want to borrow if they feel it would get them a better education. Mandating public colleges be tuition-free would only further benefit wealthy students who wouldn't be forced to consider the choice between low cost, lesser quality schools, and high-cost options.
Free Tuition Is Not the Answer
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