I can’t begin to tell you how many times I have been walking on campus and I see a car coming at me and I start to think about how great it would be if the car hits me. Not because I want to be injured, but because I can pretend to be injured and get money from their insurance so that I can pay for college and my classes. The worst part about this is that I’m not the only person I know who has had this kind of thought process. The fact of the matter remains that the majority of students are unable to pay for their classes without financial aid, and the majority of that aid comes in the form of student loans.
The average cost of a four year degree in the United States is $36,000 for in-state tuition, $100,000 for out of state tuition, and $130,000 for private schools (Collegedata). That’s a lot of money to have put into loans, and many of us don’t have the ability to have our parents pay our way through that. So, our solution is to either get a loan that we are going to be paying off for years to come, or get hit by a car crossing the street to get to class.
There is a solution, though. College in America should be free. Yes, yes, I know that whole argument about how there’s no such thing as free and our taxes would go to it. Quite frankly, that’s fine. As a taxpayer, I’m more than okay with that. The reasoning is clear. It would cost the US taxpayers $40 billion extra to make college free to all students (theatlantic). Now, let’s do a little math (let’s be honest, I’m going to use a calculator. I’m a Comm major). 40 billion/243 million taxpayers equals to…$164 per person a year. That seems like a lot. HOWEVER, let’s look at the defense budget.The US Defense Budget is $873 billion, when you take into account defense contracts as well as day to day operations. That equals out to $3592.59 per person. I think that the costs of education are more important than fighting wars for oil and threatening Russia and North Korea, don’t you?
I know that this premise was silly, but it’s a true scenario many students face. We want to be hit by a car so we can afford college. And our Education Secretary is a woman who profits off of student loans. Talk about a conflict of interest. The only way in the future to keep America educated is through free public college. It’s not radical. It’s not unheard of. It’s the norm everywhere else. So come on, let’s make some real change happen.