College Debt Sentence
What do you want to be when you grow up?
Ah yes, the heavy question every adult remembers being asked as a child in their youngest, most innocent years. Perhaps, like most children, you answered, “I want to be a doctor!” or maybe, “I want to be a police officer!” Our youth are enriched with this sense of aspiration and possibility, absolutely nothing seems out of reach. Why then, is it is as we age into mature adults ready to conquer the world, we soon come to find out those dreams we once held so tight might have to be let go? In a country full of opportunity, why should those people willing to work so hard, be denied the right to an education simply because they were not fortunate enough to be wealthy? Suddenly, seemingly attainable dreams become out of reach due to raising tuition costs for far too many students.
Free community college is a clever investment. Imagine all the innovation, talents, and bright ideas we have potentially missed out on as a nation because certain people could not afford an education? If students have the freedom to responsibly pursue those dreams and make them a possibility, we will have more people actively contributing to our nations wealth and advancement. Instead of the government pouring out billions of dollars in loans, take a fraction of that to assist funding a tuition-free community college system and use the rest for other costly, impending conflicts we have nationally. Loan debt is the anti-thesis of a lucrative business and blocks the possibility of progression. Brilliant minds should not have to settle for the daunting debt that never goes away, or a future stuck in a low-wage job.
Education is the single most important social determinant factor in nearly every aspect of a healthy life. Education is crucial to holistic health among all members of society, just as it is crucial to economic development. Americans with less education face a life full of risk factors: obesity, disability due to diminished health, mental illness, premature mortality, unintended pregnancies, and so much more. All this means for the United States is increased government costs in healthcare, and social services. People without a college education are more likely to be stuck in a low-wage job pushing them closer and closer to the cusp of poverty. These low-paying jobs do not provide health insurance to temporary or part-time workers; so now, not only are our college-uneducated members of society pushed into poverty, but they are also lacking basic resources for primary health factors. When these people grow ill, they cannot visit a primary care physician like you or I because for them, it is not affordable; they will wait until the illness solves itself or until the illness forces them into the Emergency Room of a hospital. Without access to insurance, we are forced to pay for their visit; this spirals into insurance companies compensating for the loss by increasing the cost for all other members. Our poor, uninsured, college-uneducated Americans are forced to use supplemental services such as WIC, or Food Stamps because the wages they are living off are simply not enough to sustain a life in this country. This does not seem like the America we advertise across the world.
In 2017, there is simply no logical explanation as to why people willing to work toward success hit a brick wall because they have no money. Our country would benefit tremendously if every child with an aspiration grew into an adult actively living out that dream. We can provide free community college; this is not an out of reach ambition. Like many young adults, I still have unfulfilled dreams, I hope to someday soon cross free community college for all off that list.