The admission procedure for higher education is very gloomy in and of itself. I’m not sure what else to call a system in which seventeen-year-olds pay a fee for multimillion-dollar institutions to read a 500-word essay in which they do their best to summarize their personhood, so they can be indebted to banks and the government for the rest of their lives to attend said institution, all for the sake of getting jobs that might pay better.
If someone wants to be a nurse or an engineer, the last thing they should have to worry about is begging a bank for money they’ll have to repay, or turning to a corporation’s or wealthy individual’s scholarship fund, which then judges if they’re worthy. The dysfunction of this system has become so ingrained in many of us that we no longer question it. We may complain to our family, friends, and coworkers about the stress of the process, but we’re so preoccupied with it that we forget it doesn’t have to be this way.
We live in the most affluent country on the planet, with more money than any other culture in history. Tuition-free public college attendance is not a pipe fantasy. It has nothing to do with having enough money, but rather with changing how the money is spent. Investing in tuition-free education will help not only the individuals who are now able to attend college, but the whole economy as a whole.