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The costs of college: Will making it free help?


I stand among many other students at Bear River who believe that college should be free in order to ensure that individuals can get the education they want for their desired career without worrying about the outrageous expenses required.

While some students can easily afford going to the college that’s perfectly suited for what they want, many students find themselves having to take out very large student loans, or having to attend a different college altogether. A few students can’t even go to college due to their financial difficulties.

Freshman Alexandra Boatman decided that a college education should be free.

“Heck yeah, because it gives an equal opportunity to everyone, no matter where they come from in their life,” she said. “Depending on how willing you are to work, the higher you’ll go in life, but, if you start off poor, it’s harder to get all the way up to being rich.”

However, Faith Kelley, a sophomore, had a different opinion.

“I think colleges should not be free, because colleges need money to run the school, and, if they didn’t have money, then they maybe would shut down the school,” she said.

Trinity D’Andrade, a freshman, agreed with this statement.

“I think college should not be free just because … it won’t make them as valuable,” she said.

One of Bear River’s counselors, Bethany Williams, felt a combination of the two opposite opinions above.

“I honestly haven’t thought about if it should be free or not … but I do think it should be more affordable,” she said. “If you fall in that financial place of not being able to afford college, but also not qualifying for grants, etc … it makes it difficult to obtain your college degree.”

She proceeded to explain whether or not a fee should affect one’s selection of a college.

“I do think that college affordability is one of the major factors in choosing a college,” she said. “I want to encourage students to look at colleges across our nation and really look at what the expense is. Many people believe the private and out-of-state colleges are too expensive, while, in actuality, many private and out-of-state colleges have better financing and scholarships available.”

Kelley disagreed with this statement.

“I don’t think a fee should affect your decision of going to a college or not, because what if it’s your dream to go to that college and you have all the requirements?” she said. “Then you will have a successful life with the college you’ve been always wanting to go to.”

“[It does not affect my decision] because I want a good-paying job, and I’m going to save up for that fee if I really want that job … and that degree,” D’Andrade agreed.

Although I understand this, I also feel like this might not be possible for some students. Even though a certain school may be their dream college, they might not even be able to go due to their financial boundaries.

Boatman felt similarly.

“It’s kind of negative,” she said. “I come from a lower income family, and so I have such a hard time being like, ‘Oh my God, I can’t afford this!’”

When asked whether the price of colleges seemed fair, there were a variety of opinions.

“No, [it’s not fair] because some students can’t [pay it] … even if they really, really want to … [even if] they’re willing to use the education to help them find work,” said Boatman.

“I think looking at the students financial situation is important, those that can’t afford to attend college will qualify for grants and scholarships,” said Mrs. Williams.

“People who can’t get into a college can always work more to get the money, or maybe start up a bank account, or save up money you can get,” said Kelley.

Mrs. Williams had another thing to say.

“Community College is an excellent option for students to consider,” she said. “You can complete your 2 years and then transfer to a university. This saves money, and you can still graduate in 4 years. Sierra College offers First Year Free. This is a program where, regardless of your income, if you are a full-time college student, it’s free.”

With this common economic issue, I believe certain colleges should be free, or at least reduced in price. There are some kids who really want to go to college, but they can’t, which I believe is unfair.

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The costs of college: Will making it free help?