Free College? Not So Fast…

College is a potential opportunity most students consider. For a long time, people have viewed college as the way forward. This gets to the point where people start believing that college is the only way to be successful in life. Although many would like to go to college, it may not be possible for them. College tuition, as well as potential living costs, make going to college completely unaffordable for a lot of students at high schools  without accessible financial aid information. Right now, we’re in a time where many political candidates are advocating for free tuition, but many other candidates believe it’s unaffordable for the country to go down this route. Although this is a current conversation being held between political candidates, we’re likely not close to a final resolution on this issue and it shouldn’t be something people are completely sold on happening yet. Now that the bad news is out of the way, Revere students can look to the better news: it’s still possible for students to drastically cut down costs for college.

School is far from affordable, in fact, many people have to go through the pain and burden of student loans. Over 44.7 million American people have taken on student loan debt and that number increases almost every day. Considering that college seems to be a requirement to live a normal, safe, and nuclear life, the fact of college costing so much is no doubt built to make money. Ivy Leagues are a prime example of this (keep in mind this is NOT to denounce the colleges as overpriced). If we take an Ivy League college such as Harvard University, we see that their average cost of tuition is around $78,200 for a year of school. There aren’t a ton of options when it comes to what colleges you should go to either, as many jobs seem to look for the top colleges in the country, which means students choose to pay an increased cost.

As school costs rise, students need to look for more ways to cut those costs down. The easiest way to start is to talk to Ms. Currie for advice on what they can possibly do to cut down these costs. Ms. Currie advises that students should be “very careful and very aware of where they’re applying and how they’re choosing the schools.” Students need to take into account which schools can provide them with financial aid and which schools the government can also help with. Ms. Currie believes that community college should definitely be an option for those who may not be able to afford a private school. This is due to the Pell Grant, which can award students with up to $6,100, which would cover the full tuition at a community college. She also notes how she brings up FAFSA daily because it’s “really how you open the door to federal aid, state aid, and institutional aid.” On the topic of more resources for students, Ms. Currie mentioned the Revere Community Scholarships. She said that  “many times we have scholarships that do not have many people applying for them since students didn’t take the time to fill out the application or write the essay.” As it is right now, it probably isn’t a smart idea to rely on the idea of free college tuition. Although many politicians are talking about it, something like that could be years away at the very least. The best thing any student can do, regardless of financial status, is apply for as many financial aid opportunities as possible as there’s no downside to applying. Even if you get rejected, that’s the worst that could happen. If you get accepted, you won’t have to pay as much for college.

Some high schools prepare students for the burden of college by having what’s called “Application Celebrations,” where staff from these colleges come to the school and help with applications. These people can give you instant acceptance into colleges and advice on things like school prices and if it’s worth it to go to a community college first. Public colleges also attend this event and give students advice on saving money for college. This is another event Revere students can go to during senior year.

College isn’t free as of yet, so students need to go through school attempting to get as much money given to them as possible. It’s possible for students to drastically cut down college tuition costs, and starting as early as possible is the smart thing to do. Take advantage of the opportunities you get. Once an opportunity is gone, you may never get another chance to take it.