Bernie Sanders’ free college plan sounds good, but will it really work?

Ashley Gadke

Vermont Sen. and Democrat candidate Bernie Sanders has taken a stance on the platform of free college and free tuition from the beginning of his democratic career. This position sounds good, free college for all students would mean an abundance of well-educated young Americans; diminishing the lower class and creating a larger middle class. Sanders says he will create a new tax on Wall Street speculation that will pay for this incredible change that would allow all Americans to continue their education. But could a tax on Wall Street really pay for all of America’s tuition?

The strongest argument against Sanders plan is his reliability on the states. Sanders predicts that most or all of the states will agree to his plan, but this is not proven. Some states might disagree with letting a tax on Wall Street control their income. If states do not allow Sanders plan to be implemented in their state that would cause a rift in the college acceptance process. A country with some states allowing free college and others states without free college will not help the economy the way Sanders intends.

Sanders says states that do not accept the free college plan will lose profit because the students will instead attend schools in the free college states. He predicts that because of this, the non-free college States will then switch to the free college plan. What if Sanders prediction is false? If the States do not agree or are not forced into accepting his plan the country will be divided and that will lead to more problems.

On average United States’ two-year public institutions make $3,347 per (in-district) student a year. Four year-public institutions make $9,139 per (in-state) student and $22,958 per (out-of-state) student a year. Private four-year institutions make $31,231 per student a year. Colleges use this income mainly for instruction, research and hospital services.

Sanders’ free-college plan is often compared to eastern European counties such as Demark and Germany. Germany’s average annual taxes are higher than the United States tax average. Germany also has a lower enrollment percentage compared to the United States. The United States has an average of 94% compared to Germany’s 62% who annually enroll in post-secondary education.

In conclusion, free college is no such thing, schooling for college students would still be paid for by the citizens of the United States, only with Sanders’ plan by higher taxes. Any free-college plan that Sanders plans to put in place as president would be more complicated than college funding is in Europe.