A Free College Education: A Basic American Right?


Resumen: Obtener una educación universitaria es algo que es una espada de doble filo para los adultos más jóvenes del país y también para algunos de sus padres. La sociedad dictamina que alguna forma de educación secundaria es una necesidad absoluta para el éxito de toda la vida, pero el costo asociado con la obtención de esas credenciales es debilitante. The Washington Post informa que el estudiante universitario promedio se graduará con una deuda de $ 25,000 .Con más de $ 1 billón en préstamos pendientes, la deuda estudiantil supera la deuda de la tarjeta de crédito y está exenta de protección por bancarrota. Algunos pueden decir que esto es solo el costo de hacer negocios y que unos pocos años (o décadas) de reembolso de préstamos estudiantiles valen la pena el costo a largo plazo. Si una persona realmente valora su futuro, pagar los préstamos y las tasas de interés son solo parte de demostrar su dedicación. Para cada uno, y otros monikers relacionados. Pero, ¿y si esa mentalidad se volteara? ¿Qué pasa si no hay costo para obtener una educación universitaria y se considera como un derecho básico, al igual que el sistema de escuelas públicas K-12? Parece que la respuesta instintiva es afirmar que la nación no puede pagarla.La industria de la educación universitaria de un billón de dólares, junto con las compañías de préstamos que «ayudan» a financiar estos emprendimientos, sería viable si los estudiantes no tuvieran que encontrar, ganar o tomar prestadas las decenas de miles necesarias para demostrar que se preocupan por su carrera.

Earning a college education is something that is a double-edged sword for the nation’s youngest adults and for some of their parents too. Society dictates that some form of secondary education is an absolute must for lifetime success but the cost associated with earning those credentials is debilitating. The Washington Post reports that the average college student will graduate with $25,000 in debt. With over $1 trillion in outstanding loans, student debt outweighs credit card debt and is exempt from bankruptcy protection.

Some may say this is just the cost of doing business and that a few years (or decades) of repaying student loans is worth the cost in the long run. If a person truly values his future, repaying loans and interest rates are just part of proving his dedication. To each his own, and other related monikers.

But what if that mentality were flipped? What if there was no cost to obtain a college education and it was viewed as a basic right, much like the K-12 public school system? It seems that the knee-jerk response is to claim that the nation can’t afford it. The trillion-dollar college education industry, coupled with the lending companies that “help” finance these endeavors, would feasibly go under if students did not have to find, earn or borrow the tens of thousands necessary to prove they care about their career.

Perhaps that’s true. But how would the economy as a whole look if college student debt disappeared? Instead of taking the first, low-paying job that came along in order to desperately find the cash to start repaying loans, maybe students would hold out for the perfect job where their talents and education could be best utilized. Instead of the nearly 22 million young adults living at home with their parents, maybe those kids would invest in their own housing and start contributing to that industry faster. Parents who save every penny in order to pay for college would feasibly have more cash to put back into other aspects of the economy, strengthening whatever industries they touched.

When the facts are really examined, it seems that the only ones truly benefitting from the current higher education model are the institutions themselves and the companies that support lending. In the second quarter of this year, private lender Sallie Mae reported $543 million in net income. In 2013 alone, Sallie Mae has spent over $1.2 million lobbying against legislation meant to relieve some of the college debt strain. Much like the skyrocketing healthcare industry costs over the past two decades, colleges and lenders have been left to their own devices with improper regulations.

The result is the “soaring college costs” we hear so much about today. According to the College Board in 1992 one year of college at a public four-year institution cost around $7,500 in today’s dollars. Now that cost is $10,000 higher. Private nonprofits cost around $17,000 in 1992; today the cost is nearly $24,000.  The cost of college is a runaway train at this point. College costs have risen faster than the inflation rate for decades.

While an economy hindrance, the high price tag of a college education has very little resistance when observing the nation’s population as a whole. Colleges and lending companies have, for the most part, gotten “a pass” because the pursuit of knowledge is deemed a worthy one where price should never be considered an issue. Under the guise of a better-educated workforce, colleges and lenders have been able to get away with more than any other industry providing a basic, American service. What would the reaction be if utility costs rose that quickly, or the price of a gallon of milk?

For a college education to really have the intended impact on the individual and society as a whole, it needs to be affordable – or completely free. It is a basic American right.

Do you think a free college education system would have a positive impact on the economy?

Fuente: http://www.theedadvocate.org/a-free-college-education-a-basic-american-right/

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Free college education could be ‘game changer’ for Filipino families

Philippine/August 8, 2017/ By: Gilbert P. Felongco/ Source: http://gulfnews.com

After passage of law, hard part is to fund it.

The passage into law of a measure providing free college education could be a «game changer» for many Filipinos families as having a graduate could be a ticket out of poverty.

“A college diploma is the most decisive tool a Filipino can carry in the struggle to give his or her family a better life, and President Duterte has just given every Filipino the means to have it,” Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel said, adding that the free college education law gives more Filipino families better pathways out of poverty.

Quality education is difficult to come by in the Philippines for families who have little money to pay for their children’s education.


While deserving students who could pass admission in state colleges and universities are provided with free tuition, they are required to maintain certain grades.

To get free quality education, some apply for admission to the Philippine Military Academy, the Philippine National Police Academy or enter priesthood or apply for scholarship from big companies, which would likely provide them with work upon graduation, or secure really high grades that comes with scholastic honours.

Free tertiary education signed

Under the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education act, which was signed by President Rodrigo Duterte last Thursday, Filipino college students — including those wishing to take up medicine — could be provided free education in state colleges or universities.

“I have always believed that education is the great equaliser. I am where I am today because of my education,” said Pimentel, who graduated from the University of the Philippines College of Law in 1990, and topped the Bar exams the same year.

The Senate chief says that the law is a boost for the country and not just for individuals.

Pimentel said: “With this law, our country will have a bigger pool of skilled professionals who are necessary for the development of a modern economy.”


But while Duterte’s move to sign the free college education law was widely welcomed, some Senators caution that funds should be ensured to make it feasible.

Earlier, Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno had said that such an undertaking may not be possible since it would provide a great drag on the country’s fiscal flow.

“We laud the President’s decision to sign the law even when there was some hesitation from his economic managers. The challenge now, however, is to ensure that the new law will be effectively and completely implemented in 112 state colleges and universities nationwide,” members of the Senate minority bloc said in a statement on Saturday.

The minority bloc is largely made up of members of the opposition Liberal Party.

“The new law will only become a reality if government allocates enough and accessible funding for SUCs nationwide. The executive branch and Congress must work closely to make tertiary education accessible to all through tuition subsidies and financial assistance,” they stressed.



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