Debate Topic! Paying for College

By: Dakota Wright and Madison Danielson

October 11, 2016; 11:14 am

Paying for college has been a big question ever since Bernie Sanders plans for freed education became popular. With the presidential election coming up, the big focus is on what the two Presidential candidates believe on this topic.

Paying for college would not be in the Presidential debate if it was not for Bernie Sanders. He was the one talking about a change in his campaign before he dropped out for running for President. A big reason people agreed with Bernie, was because Bernie said he planned on taxing wall street and not everyone in the US; he also advocated for free education.

The debate on paying for college goes all the way back to our Founding Fathers. In the early days of the country, students could attend public colleges for free³. The Morrill Act of 1862 enabled colleges to be created by states on federal land³. This happened so higher education could become available to Americans in all classes³. Since then not much has really changed, you still have to pay for college and the prices has gone up dramatically.

Democrat Hillary Clinton believes, “students should never have to borrow to pay for tuition, books, and fees to attend a four year public college in their state under the New College Compact². Pell Grants are not included in the calculation of no debt tuition, so the Pell recipients will be able to use their grants fully for living expenses. Students at community college will receive free tuition².” (Pell grants are the largest federal government given out to low income families.) Clinton’s plan is that every student will have the opportunity to be a college graduate from an instate four year public college/university without having any student debt to pay². Also Clinton guarantees that children in any family in the country that has an income of $125,000 a year or less will get into an in-state college/university for free; which is 83 percent of the population in the U.S¹. During one of the many debates between Sanders and Clinton, Hillary Clinton’s quote was as follows: “I’m a little different from those who say free college for everybody. I am not in favor of making college free for Donald Trump’s kids. I am in favor of making college free for your grandson by having no debt tuition.”

Republican Donald Trump says, “Well, there’s no such thing as free education, because you know that ultimately somebody else is going to be paying for that education².” Trump also says he’d love to say “free education” but if somebody gets free education, all of the people paying taxes would have their rates go up². Trump did say that he can’t believe how college costs keep rising and there’s no reason for it². Trump has made it unclear on what he will do to help pay for college.

Just recently, I interviewed two different people on this subject,  both of whom  have chosen to remain anonymous. The first person I interviewed was on Clinton’s side of the argument. In their statement they said they liked Clinton’s side of the argument because “students are worried about how they are going to pay for college,” and if they were able to go to in-state college, then their college experience would be free. The second person I interviewed agrees with Trump’s point on the argument because they “are a taxpayer” and they “are not looking forward to [their] taxes going up even more.”

Paying for college is just one of the many things that has come up in the Presidential debate. This topic could be a big factor in how the younger generation votes on a candidate in the presidential election. In saying this, the younger generation will probably vote for the candidate who makes it easy on their wallets and protects their right to a free education.


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