One of the major issues that keeps coming up in both political and private conversations is the lack of education for the majority of people in the United States. For the economic stability of the country, education is at the forefront, teaching future generations about confronting major debate matters such as environment, technology, social services and more. However, with rising costs of college and university education, it means that most families cannot afford to send their children to gain this valuable education.


In previous years it was suggested that by 2025, 60% of the population would have a college education. Well, we are only 9years away from that, and it looks like we are closer to 30%. Unfortunately, there is a continuing major issue that separates the elite from the rest of us. For example, an average salary for a high school dropout is around $24,000 a year. And that’s for males. Contrarily, a college graduate with 4 years under his belt is more likely to earn $52,000, whilst an advance degree will give you the luxury of starting off with $67,000.

It might sound a lot, though college graduates are burdened by huge financial debts that have gotten them through their education. This leaves many prospective students thinking twice about going to college, leaving society on the tipping point of the scale.

Currently, in the political race for office, many of the candidates are offering different solutions for this education crisis. Hillary Clinton has suggested that her party would spend $350 million in states that increase regulations on colleges that are making above and beyond what they need from their student base. Clinton also sees students working 10 hour weeks whilst studying as well as basing payment options according to family income. Senator Bernie Sanders proposed a new Wall Street tax that would enable the government to guarantee tuition for 75% of the student population, namely those attending public universities. More radical options came from Marco Rubio who stated “fundamentally overhauling higher education”, with support for online degrees and night schools.

With all of these proposals, it might be time to start taking advice from our neighbors across the water. For example, Germany, Finland, Norway and Sweden, all countries with strong economic status, offer free college education. Don’t be fooled, nothing comes free these days. Citizens of these countries pay much higher income taxes, with fewer students choosing to study there.

There is no question, free education has great advantages both for the national need and for the individual. Costs can be spread across the population, which means there are less risks for individual families to take on. Some people also argue that mass expenditures on higher education by the states can have a much better impact as an investment, rather than counting on the individual.

Whatever happens with education, it looks like there is a long way to go before all colleges can participate in free education. The ramifications are huge, and have major impacts on local financial eco systems and, more critically, on those that are in the middle of paying back immense student debts.

Shirley Pattison