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Paul Jesep

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Free College Should Be a Right, Not a Privilege

Student loan debt now exceeds credit card debt. Nurturing an educated workforce is key to a democracy and a vibrant economic system. Yet higher education is perceived as a privilege. Piling debt on those who seek to be contributing members of society through inventing, researching, analyzing, and challenging the greater community with innovative ideas is counter productive to society and the individual. Education debt limits potential for the individual, the economy, and for furthering the greater good.

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    Nov 10 2011: I would love to see free colleges however... how do you suppose the colleges will maintain the costs of the resources they utilize to provide free education? Plus most universities develop their reputation and good name based on R&D. Now although federal government is the highest source of funding for universities R&D but the second largest is institution's own internal funds. If colleges are free how will they work on its internal funds? Yes there are larger donations available but we can assume with free colleges there will be more students.

    And even though you have clarified "free" if you meet entry requirements and you maintain a certain grade point average but i can imagine international students travelling to good colleges working hard on their average grade point and then going back to their own countries.

    Im not trying to sound pessimistic because i do believe we need to make education more accessible... however we also need to work on such issues as well to make it possible :)
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      Nov 10 2011: There are too many blocks to have free education while having our current economical system. In order to make education free it would have to be payed for by the government (who else would pay). If the government had to pay, than of course they would tax more or cut other programs (democrates vs. republicans) either way, in the end, the tax payers end up paying for their own education.

      Many people however would find this unfair, "I only have one child, why do I have to pay for other kids?" There is no real solution to this problem, if we taxed the people with more children than they have to pay for education they may not be able to afford it, and if you just taxed people based on the number of kids they have, why not just send them to college privatly like we do now?
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        Nov 10 2011: Agreed. It is a very challenging road. But few tinkering and kludges are needed to at least make education more "welcoming."
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      Nov 10 2011: All valid points ... I don't anticipate non-citizens would qualify for a free education any more than a U.S. citizen would qualify for a free education in some European countries. There is likely to be a model from one of the Western European countries in how to provide a college education to those who work for it and maintain a certain grade point average.

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