Sanders' proposal to cut tuition is too unrealistic
As a 20-year-old college student, I have heard time and time again the gripes of my peers when it comes to tuition costs.
Tuition price was the No. 1 reason why I didn't attend my top-choice school, a $50,000-a-year college in Boston. Fortunately, I ended up staying in Florida, which is one of the cheapest states to get a public education.
During my senior year of high school, my eyes bugged when I heard how much some of my classmates were expected to pay to go out of state. Those numbers were probably the equivalent of, if not more than, the cost of an arm and a leg.
So when Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders announced he wanted to pass a bill that would rid tuition fees of public-university students, we should all have been jumping up in the air, right?
Sure, it's the ideal situation and a dream come true, but Sanders is, no doubt, biting off more than he can chew. I can't feasibly imagine this bill ever passing, however appealing it may sound on the surface.
In order for this plan to work, Sanders drew up a figure of $70 billion to be gathered through stock taxes. The federal government would pay three-fourths of this amount and the states would pay the rest.
College tuition has increased exponentially in the past few decades. According to Bloomberg, college tuition and fees have increased by 1,120 percent between 1978 and 2012.
This absurd jump in prices has riddled students with debt that would take decades to pay off. Added to that cost are food, housing, books, transportation and spending money, which can suffocate someone trying to get out in the real world for the first time.
If college becomes free, however, I could only imagine what the attendance numbers would look like.
Very few at UCF are strangers to the lectures with 300 or more students. If more students are able to attend, will the quality of the classes be spread too thin? Or will college admissions become more rigorous in order to maintain academic integrity?
I studied abroad in Sweden during fall 2014, and the issue of money came up often. I couldn't believe how cheap European tuition was and how many of my friends were being paid to study abroad.
In October, Germany had finally been able to get rid of all its public-university fees, not only for Germans but for international students as well.
It seemed perfect, and in my mind I kept thinking how great it would be if the United States could follow in Germany or Sweden's footsteps. But we have two very different systems in play, and what fits one foot will not always fit the other.
Sanders' vision is admirable and I'm sure his heart is in the right place. It's going to take lots and lots of time, however, in order to get to where Germany is. While it is certainly not going to happen before 2020, it's still a step in the right direction and a good idea to make known to the nation.
Noelle Campbell is a Digital Producer for the Central Florida Future. Follow her on Twitter @Noellecampz or email her @NoelleCCentralFloridaFuture.com.