New Mexico is introducing a new program for college students: free tuition. The state caught on with that of other states like New York and Oregon who each have their guidelines for students to access free tuition as well. So, how does this program work for students? According to The New York Times, “It is available to all students, regardless of family income, and it includes funds for adults looking to return to school at community colleges.” The groundbreaking plan will be open to all New Mexico residents, regardless even of their immigration status.
Does this mean other states should follow the same protocol? Does free tuition benefit us as a society and our economy? Yes. Free college tuition means an abundant help for working-class people who also dare to dream and live day to day wondering how to feed themselves. Future students can plan to see a better life for themselves, which, in turn, could help them avoid depression, emotional distress, and anger.
The cycle of debt student loans has entangled most of America is quite staggering. For some, the idea of college tuition outspends more than the idea of attending college overall. The moral behind attaining a better future is ill-equipped when one has to find a means to an end to survive to pay for school. The equation of paying off school debt seems quite off, to me. School should be a means to end to help us survive and fight for what we want in this life. With countless presidential promises of retaining or diminishing student loans altogether, many are still waiting for a proper answer.
Could free tuition across the board be the answer? Twenty states have already agreed, but with guidelines, such as a matter of income and where the money will go. New Mexico’s tuition program seems to break down those barriers. Many more college students are even migrating to Europe for cheaper tuition, that is also free to its residents. Do most people willing to attend college have to flee to Europe? Instead, why not even let them study for free here? Maybe some students don’t want to leave their families and want to study, but don’t know how they can afford it.
According to Forbes, New Mexico’s program is for two and four-year colleges, and students must maintain a 2.5-grade point average. The program is qualifiable for poor and wealthy people alike. It can provide numerous opportunities for recent high school or college graduates who want to continue their education and even adults who wish to pursue their education. New Mexico plans to pay for the program due to their booming oil industry. The program will cover at least “55,000 students and cost between $25 and $35 million per year.”
The debate about whether or not free tuition should also be accessible for those who may not need financial help as much as some do is still up for debate. State-based needs may always be in effect until then. Here’s hoping to a better future!