Free two-year college will benefit economy

Every college student enjoys getting things for free. President Obama has proposed free two-year community college education for those seeking to start or further their education without the overwhelming dread of debt hanging over their heads. Much controversy about this proposal has been stirring, and I feel that overall, a free community college education would be a great idea. However, will the proposal go any further than just a talking point?

During President Obama’s State of the Union address, he made a few points regarding free two-year college. He told a very engaging story about a couple who had money issues and wanted to do better for their child.

The father’s business had withered away, while the mother was working as a waitress. The mother went to college and eventually got a better job to help support her family. The only issue was the debt that they now had to deal with. Although she got a great education she also owes a lot of money.

Obama feels that in situations like this, cutting college costs could really be beneficial.

“Keep in mind, 40 percent of our college students choose community college. Some are young and starting out. Some are older and looking for a better job. Some are veterans and single parents trying to transition back into the job market,” Obama said.

When I debated whether or not to stay home or go away to college, I weighed a lot of options. Price was a huge concern, but either way I knew I would eventually be  paying a lot of money by the end of my college career. If, at the time I was trying to pick colleges, I could have possibly chosen to stay home and save two years of tuition.

Other students on campus might have decided that option as well.

Freshman anthropology major Colton Large has opinions regarding his future.

“Depending on how well my credits could transfer over to a higher university, and [if] I only had to pay for two years of college instead of four, I would go for the two free years,” Large said.

Freshman history major with a political science minor Dominic Peretin also has strong feelings regarding what he would have done if this had been proposed earlier.

“For me, personally, I would not want to go to community college, because I want to get a specialized type of degree like a Ph. D,” Peretin said.

However, Peretin does feel that this idea will be beneficial to a lot of other people trying to get a degree.

“I feel it would be [a good idea] because people are afraid to go to college mainly because of the money concern. So having a free two-year program would be great. This way people don’t have to set aside money that they could be using elsewhere. Instead [they could be]focusing on education and get a lot out of the program,” Peretin said.

Even just getting a start at a community college could bring you closer your to ultimate goal. I think that anything you want to succeed at is possible. Whether  a certain job or to get a master’s degree, community college could be the stepping stone that leads you closer to any goal you wish to achieve.

Having a few free years of college could make or break someone’s decision to even go away to college.

Large said he knew someone who ended up not going to college because of the expense.

It is very hard to plan ahead when you’re young. I know my junior year of high school I wasn’t too sure of what to do with the rest of my life. I discovered that writing was my true passion. Plus I am clumsy and accident-prone, so using knives might not be the best endeavor for me.

But will this proposal actually happen? A lot of speculation is taking place on whether or not this will actually pass and become reality.

Education needs to be celebrated no matter where you are or what you plan on doing with your life.

“We need to start realizing, as Americans, that Europe focuses on technical schools. The U.S. likes to think of it as we need to be the highest we can be in education,” Peretin said.

This can certainly make a huge difference in how many individuals further their education. According to educationalpolicy.org, free two-year college can benefit the economy and finances for many individuals. When there are more workers that have obtained post-secondary education, there can be faster economic growth.

This proposal will not be easy to achieve, but where do we finally put our foot down as Americans and make a change to help individuals reach their educational goals? Free, it’s a word that everyone enjoys. Putting that word next to college education could change more lives than we could ever imagine.