The day after the United States celebrated Veteran’s Day, a day where we recognize that freedom is not free, college students across the nation decided to organize a #MillionStudentMarch protest focused on free tuition.
Well, I have a few words for my fellow millennials—nothing is free. All the freedoms that we have in this country should never be taken for granted. Sadly, in 2015 there are even some countries where women are barred from attending school—yet, here in America we demand that a college education be a “right”.
We have become an entitlement nation, asking not what we can do for our country, but what it can do for us.
Let’s take a look at some of the countries that provide a tuition-free education. For example, Germany offers free college but taxpayers are the ones picking up that hefty cost. In fact, many of the countries that provide a tuition-free education have higher income tax rates. So, to the many millennials who are demanding free tuition, you need to understand who absorbs that cost.
It should also be noted that the college enrollment percentages in the countries that offer tuition-free education are significantly lower than here in America. With the amount of students that the United States has enrolled in its colleges and universities—providing free tuition would be a daunting cost and a significant taxpayer burden.
While rising tuition costs are something to be discussed and addressed, demanding free tuition is absolutely absurd. The free-market system that these students are protesting is the exact thing that is needed in order to help rising tuition costs. Currently, the federal government has a monopoly on student loans and this is significantly driving up costs.
How about this idea, if the taxpayers will be the ones picking up the tab for this latest demand by college students then how about we put in place some demands? Taxpayers should demand that students attend every single class each semester, participate in some form of community service, work for free on campus, and more! I wonder how that would go over.
I come from a family where my parents both worked jobs to put themselves through two-year schools--being the first in my immediate family to go to a 4-year institution. I understood that a college education would mean a serious financial undertaking. I worked hard throughout my middle school and high school years to earn scholarships and fortunately my senior year was blessed with a full-tuition scholarship to Saint Anselm College. Let me also say that I never thought college was "free," my scholarship was something I took seriously, something I worked hard to earn and never forgot each day as I sat in class. While I had a full scholarship, I'm still paying off loans for room and board and it's my responsibility to pay that back, no one else's.
Let's stop the nonsense. If millennials want to be taken seriously then let's start seriously talking about the issues, not just blindly demanding unreasonable things. Sometimes we can't get everything we want, that's life--it might be a hard pill to swallow but we will be a better nation for it. Stop the whining and get back to class.