Should community college be free?

Jonathan Palencia, reporter

Future President Joe Biden wants to make community college free. 

According to The Nuances of the Free College Debate, future vice president Kamala Harris and future president Joe Bidden would like to make community colleges free for students. About 83% of young Democrats voted on a poll in January stating that free tuition would be a great idea.  Another poll showed 55% of Republicans between the ages of 18 to 29  supported free college tuition.  Currently, families who make less than $125,000 a year can receive free college tuitionFree college would help lots of students. Free tuition programs already exist in the states of Oregon and Tennessee. In a random survey of 10 students and 10 staff, all but two said that free community college is a good idea. 

“I think community colleges would absolutely be beneficial for all families everywhere. The notion of free community college began before Biden, but I hope he implements it AND relieves current student debt because then all the talk about how education is important/essential will hold true as a societal value. This will benefit all families that see education as a necessity for one’s life without being held back by the barrier that financial stability can be and IS for many families seeking opportunity across our country. Free community college would encourage education, promote jobs, add resources to our economy–which we desperately need. More students will see school as more tangible if community college–the steppingstone to higher education–if it were free, English teacher Maritza Huerta said. 

Students agree with Ms. Huerta.  

I think community college can benefit families. There are many programs that can give students an associate degree or certification to gain the skills for a good-paying job. Community college is also an option to help students transfer to a four-year university in the future. Free community college can provide students with an opportunity to continue with their education. This will allow students to earn an associate degree or certification without going into debt. The cost and idea of debt turn students away from going to college. I believe more students will be motivated to continue with their education if the cost is low or free,” Morton East student Jocelyn Davila said. 

Too many students have student debt right now.

Yes, it would benefit a lot of students who have big dreams of going to college but cannot afford to go and would drop the 1.7 trillion dollars of student debt. It would also help a lot of families out as well,” senior BriaSilva said. 

And, many undocumented students could benefit.

Yes, (community college should be free) because there are a lot of undocumented students who cannot afford it and do not (attend or graduate) after all the debt they realize they are going to be in. It can help these undocumented students succeed in their lives and fulfill their dreams that their parents’, sister Toya Palencia said. 

 Earning a degree or certificate for a career can help turn your life around as well.

Hell yes, (tuition should be free) because it will keep people from making bad decisions and make them want to second think about their life. It can also help people get off the streets and help them start a new life, a better one. It can also help create more success that in return could benefit communities, family friend Frank Francisco said. 

However, some think that colleges may close down and lose many programs.

Free college is a double-sided knife.  It makes it easier for students that cannot afford it, but it will also be a loss for the colleges since the government cannot fund enough for all public services,” senior student Alex Gomez said.