Editorial: Struggling College students seek state support

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California college students hope state officials follow San Francisco’s free tuition lead 

Californian students struggle just as much as those in New York and San Francisco … where is our relief?  

History was made Feb. 7 when San Francisco announced starting next school year city colleges for all California residents living in San Francisco will be implementing free college tuition.

This bold move was made possible by Mayor Edwin M. Lee, Supervisor Jane Kim and City College Acting Chancellor Susan Lamb who have now helped to bring about a phenomenal new change in the education system.

Not long after this groundbreaking plan was put into effect, out east New York state admiringly followed suit implementing a similar initiative to their universities and community colleges.

This sensational deal would mean that State University of New York and City University of New York colleges for families with an annual incomes up to $125,000 would be able to attend college for free, according to CNBC.

If California chose to do something similar, taxpayers would finally be contributing toward something marvelously invaluable, as opposed to the large number of seemingly useless conditions our taxes get spent on.

California’s population rivals that of many countries, so too does its taxation of citizens.

If California was to implement tuition free school, even with the standards and clauses implemented to both New York state and the city of San Francisco, the pros far outweigh the cons. Statistically it can improve employment in higher educational fields, growth in student enrollments and the state’s graduation rate especially from lower income students.

Like all great things that are presently desired in this country, there are multiple catches with this plan that detractors have addressed or highlighted.

The plan itself is not actually “free” nor would it apply to every Californian student.

According to Lee, the city has agreed to pay out $5.4 million in order to “foot the bill,” while also taking in taxation to help further fund the city’s losses.

This is a fantastic new alternative plan that would help see in an increase in not only enrollment but in productivity from lower-income students.

When you truly look at these standards set for the chance at completely eliminating tuition from your education bill, the price is worth it. The biggest problem detractors have emphasized is taxation.

If free tuition was administered in California, all citizens would pay taxes to aid in the overall funding, but California is the most populated state in the United States of America, so it wouldn’t take a lot to make this dream a reality.

Would citizens of this great state really have a problem with their taxes going toward something as worthwhile as the opportunity for themselves or family members to go college tuition free?

In Europe, where the majority of countries tax their citizens more so than here in the USA, tuition is free based on the funding provided from said taxes. Furthermore, most European countries now currently have a higher college graduation rate than the U.S. as America ranks 19th out of 28 countries with only 32 percent of college students graduating in a 2015 study by Business Insider.

Education has clearly fallen as a priority in this country as of late and the continual struggle that students face in paying tuition has been a large deterrent for would-be students as well. Many citizens refute the idea of attending college out of high school presently for lack of funds needed to pay tuition to attend most universities, four years and even community colleges.

According to the National Center of Education statistics, only 14 percent of the population goes to college, while most countries with free tuition range anywhere from 22 to 29 percent proving that free tuition would bring about more student enrollment, and would most likely show a positive change in our graduation rate, which again has been steadily falling further and further behind most other countries.

Tuition free schooling is not only a desperately needed commodity but a right that every American should get to share. After all, a better educated population could result in smarter decision-making at every level of our society.

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