Gabbing with Grunt: What’s this free education you speak of?

The time to start applying for our next semester of classes is upon us, and with that, trying to figure out how the heck we’re going to pay for our education. While some students have scholarships and grants to support them, others may have to resort to loans, which at any age feels like lying on the ground and having someone shovel dirt on top of you.

A perk of Black Hawk College is that it is regarded as being more affordable than say a four-year university. However, what if in the future, you could attend any community college for free?

Sound like a lot of hoopla? Don’t throw your bricks just yet.

Whether you like to pay attention to the current politics or not, the issue of affordable college came up during a past democratic debate.

Bernie Sanders said that he was basically the man with the plan. Regardless of whether you side with the elephants or the donkeys, or you just don’t give a turkey, affordable college is a topic that we all, as college students, should be paying attention to.

If we all day-dream for a moment that college could become free on a public university level, wouldn’t we agree that the metaphorical falling anvil would disappear?

Jessica Tucker, an upcoming graduate in the field of Elementary Education, raved, “If college was free, my life would be greatly impacted.

One thing that would change for me is my stress level. I work a lot to pay for my tuition, and I know a lot of people are going through the same thing I am, but I feel like I would be able to enjoy my work more if college was free rather than just focusing on paying the bills.”

Logan Martens reasoned, “If college was free, I feel like I wouldn’t necessarily be at BHC right now. I could have started at a four year university instead.”

The range of opportunities for students if college was free would be vast.

Sanders was once quoted – again, I’m not swinging the pom-poms for team Bernster necessarily – saying,

“In a global economy, when our young people are competing with workers from around the world, we have got to have the best educated workforce possible. And, that means that we have got to make college affordable.”

Free tuition is not such an alien concept; Norway, Sweden, and other countries around the globe have already expanded on the concept.

Kelly Carlson, a BHC student striving for a degree in English Literature, affirmed,

“I do believe free college is an achievable goal. Other countries have done it and they have some of the most stable economies. It’s definitely a possibility.”

Just how could this become a possibility? Sanders plan involves imposing a “tax of a fraction of a percent on Wall Street, taxing Wall Street speculators” to completely cover the cost.

Colten Parchert, a student at BHC, pondered, “The price tag to make this possible probably sounds pretty steep, but when you consider all the other things we spend money on, is relocating some of that money to give more people a chance at a college education such a bad idea?” Parchert continued, “I know it’s something that I would want to be available for any kids that I might have down the road.”

A change as drastic as free public college won’t happen overnight. In fact, it’s hard to say just when the right people are going to be able to figure out the best way to implement it. But as current college students, we know exactly what it’s like to feel uneasy about signing up for your next semester of classes.

Too many students are graduating with loan debt that could take them decades to pay off; it doesn’t matter if you’re like Dave Ramsey with your money, the expense of education is becoming an epidemic.

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