Tech responds to free college

January 29, 2015


Associate Multimedia Editor  


President Barack Obama recently proposed to make community college free, and many people throughout the country have responded with mixed opinions on the issue.


Louisiana Tech students have also voiced their opinions on the idea with many reasons on how it would affect the country and future generations.


Colby Ashley, a sophomore kinesiology major, believes the plan is not a bad idea but is concerned it is not a great idea for our country in this time of debt.


“I think this plan is great in theory,” he said. “To put someone through community college for free would be a blessing. However, my question is, where would the money come from?”


Ashley said the money could come from many places such as more taxes from the working class and cutting welfare funding.

Obama speaks to a capacity crowd at Boise State University during a visit to Boise, Idaho, on Wednesday–AP Photo/Idaho Statesman, Kyle Green

Obama speaks to a capacity crowd at Boise State University during a visit to Boise, Idaho, on Wednesday–AP Photo/Idaho Statesman, Kyle Green


“My true opinion is that if someone is dedicated enough to go to college, then they will work their butts off to afford it on their own,” he said. “If someone is handed a free ride, they won’t appreciate it as much and not be as passionate about it.”


Obama is proposing a $60 billion plan to make the first two years of community or technical college free, according to AP.  The savings plans will help students pay  for school.


Ryan Gilbert, a senior mechanical engineering major, thinks free community college would benefit students and help more people take advantage of the college experience.


“The students who are not able to pay for college right out of high school (based on grades, money, or any other circumstance) will be allowed to take the extra step to improve their living status,” he said. “Those who want a degree from a university would be allowed to take all the general courses at a community college and then graduate within three  years at most universities.”


Gilbert said this will  increase enrollment because of the price, will ease the transition between high school and college, will decrease student loans. He said this will help lessen stress on students during school. They will be able to focus on classes more and ultimately, after college, find jobs easier.


“I feel like it’s a good idea overall,” he said. “Education should be free or at least cost less. A country more invested in education will eventually have fewer issues. The main problem may come when everyone is looking for a similar job. More people graduating means more competition in the field of study.”


Nick Smith believes Obama’s proposal  is nothing but talk.


“Though he created the conversation, it ended soon thereafter since the GOP controls both chambers,” Smith said, a junior political science and speech communication major. “The proposal is ideal because it modernizes America. Sadly, we’re far behind our allies in many terms, especially education.”


Smith said Americans place less value on education as indicated by recent cuts in education budgets. He said even if college becomes free, this does not mean more people will attend.


“Subsidizing education just incentivizes more individuals to enroll, but in no way does it mean that there will be an overflow, he said. “An educated and skilled workforce will benefit society as a whole.”


The president’s plan for expanding the $2,500 tax credit for college expenses would make it available to families with incomes up to $180,000 a year, according to AP.


The amount of credit would grow with inflation, and students could use it for up to five years, as long as they are attending school at least part-time. Currently, students can only receive the credit for four years.


The Associated Press contributed to this story.


Email comments to emo012@latech.edu.


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