Jan. 28, 2015
Royal Purple Editorial Staff Opinion
In the State of the Union address last week, President Barack Obama discussed a new plan which would make community college free. Obama said he hopes this will make community college more accessible to numerous kinds of people and become as “universal” as high school currently is.
It is time everyone got on board with free, or at least cheaper, higher education.
The idea that a college degree today is the equivalent of a high school diploma when our parents were our age has been shared over and over, and it is truer than ever. A high school diploma no longer holds the same power it once did, leaving many students to choose higher education to gain a decent career.
“By the end of this decade, two in three job openings will require some higher education,” Obama said in the address. “Two in three. And yet, we still live in a country where too many bright, striving Americans are priced out of the education they need. It’s not fair to them, and it’s not smart for our future.”
With growing requirements in many career paths across the United States, it seems as though education costs would change to realistically reflect the demand and make it more accessible. Regardless of this wishful thinking, higher education is still too expensive for many prospective students. Seventy-five percent of the public says “college is too expensive for most Americans to afford,” according to a Pew Research Center study.
Our generation, also known as the Millenials, faces different challenges than the generations before us.
College is highly beneficial and nearly necessary to the Millennials’ future careers and much more common and expected than it was for previous generations. It needs to be reasonably accessible to anybody willing to make the effort, no matter what age, income, location and background they come from.
Although having some sort of higher education has proven to be very beneficial in numerous studies as compared to having a high school diploma, the student debt that comes with it can create stress and struggle in the beginning of a career.
That is what Obama said he hopes to help with through this plan. As long as students work hard and apply themselves, they shouldn’t have to be overwhelmed with loans.
“Whoever you are, this plan is your chance to graduate ready for the new economy, without a load of debt,” Obama said in the address. “Understand, you’ve got to earn it – you’ve got to keep your grades up and graduate on time.”
This issue is important to support, not just for the individual, but for the community at large. This means more education for more people, so they can get well-paying jobs and contribute to the growing economy.
A healthy economy is only possible when the employees of various companies and businesses throughout the U.S. can afford to help circulate the wealth as well as not having to rely on government assistance programs.
By providing free community college, determined and ambitious individuals can have a variety of opportunities made available to them that simply are not possible with the current costs and complications. The land of opportunity needs to stay true to its name.
Everyone, no matter what their backgrounds are, needs to make an effort to support this plan because it will not come easily. There will likely be controversy over how the details will work out for this plan and who will end up footing the bill.
Despite the work that will need to be put into making this plan successful, supporting this issue will create many opportunities for individuals who struggle to achieve higher education.