Free College is Great Right?

Jinyong Chung, Reporter

Last January, President Obama proposed during his State of the Union address that all Americans should be guaranteed at least two years of free community college. He stated that the rising cost of going to college and the growing need for workers with a secondary education means that students should be entitled to at least two years of free tuition for community college. At first glance Obama’s proposal seems like a dream come true for struggling students trying to get a higher education. It seems as if this college promise can finally solve the problem of rising student debt dissuading young promising students from attending college and getting a higher education to further their lives.

However, like almost any other utopian plan created by the government this plan to provide free community college to all Americans is fundamentally riddled with problems. The notion that all Americans somehow have the right to two years of free community college from the start sounds wrong because from the perspective of an average citizen this would sound like we were just adding two more years onto high school. And we all know the reputation of our public educational system. America is known to have some of the best colleges and universities in the entire world but our public educational system is known to be abysmally lackluster in its performance compared to other developed countries and even developing countries perform better than us. The fact that we are simply extending our relatively poor public educational system into our higher educational system is obviously not going to help the quality or reputation of our secondary education.

 A second aspect to this new proposal to make two years of community college free to all Americans is that in essence President Obama just made up a new right. Just like how he declared before that all Americans are somehow entitled to health care Obama has literally created a new right saying that all Americans are entitled to community college now. In America people are entitled to several rights such as the right to freedom of speech, religion, and bear arms. But our constitution says almost nothing about the president having the power to magically create new rights for Americans. Nor does it say anything about Americans having the right to two years of free community college in the first place. The bottom line is that this new proposal would mean that Americans would have a new right bestowed upon them that simply doesn’t exist.

As a high school sophomore I am acutely aware that my best path to success is going to college after high school and seek a higher education to help me start off in my preferred career of choice. Obviously getting free stuff is great but sometimes we millennials also like to earn stuff as well. Contrary to the popular belief that this generation is simply stuck-up and spoiled, millennials are actually one of the most well informed and sensitive generations in history. We want to strive and succeed in this new millennium and we would most likely want to do so without the government spoon-feeding us along the way. In reality the fact that Obama thinks that all students should deserve two years of free community college to succeed is a little bit insulting to the students who actually want to earn their acceptance into a college not have the government hand it to them. And honestly if the government really handed me my acceptance to college I wouldn’t feel as if I had actually earned my way into college. At the end of the day, that’s just sad.