Harvard joins other elite universities in making college free for students from low income families
September 26, 2013
One ideology that we, as Americans, preach is that this country is full of opportunity, and that because freedom is apparent, every citizen has the right to succeed. Harvard University, an Ivy League school, is often described as the most elite university nationally as well as worldwide. With notable graduates, high-class education and a stellar reputation, it is no surprise that many people, regardless of economic status, want to attend the school.
However, a hefty price comes with all these great qualities, and it totals almost $60,000 per year. Not every intelligent, hard-working individual who may apply and receive admission into Harvard can afford this price. With student loan interest rates getting higher and higher, it is increasingly apparent that college is becoming less and less achievable — not because students are lazy and not willing to work, but because they simply cannot afford to put out $40,000 a year just to receive an education. Because college is so expensive and only getting more expensive, the only people who can go to four-year universities are those from wealthy backgrounds.
However, certain elite universities, like Harvard or Notre Dame, are attempting to change this devious matter. In an attempt to get more students from low-income families to attend their colleges and in hopes of achieving economic diversity in the classroom, these schools are giving out free tuition to students whose families’ yearly income is below $60,000. This could greatly benefit the majority of people in this country and, possibly, society as a whole. As stated earlier, America’s motto is that every citizen has a right to succeed, and this courageous step taken by private universities can help those who are less privileged achieve financial success in life.
“I’m just really glad that there are options out there for people who are less financially stable,” said journalism freshman Paulina Rios. Rios also suggested that the initiative could be a motivating factor for those who, like her, worked hard in high school and were successful with grades and extracurricular activities, yet did not have the resources to attend college.
“Opportunities like these don’t come too often for people who lack the financial help, like me, and so when we come across them, it’s really hard to look the other way,” Rios said.
Even though most think this could hurt the economy — even with the university paying for it — consider this: a person on welfare for the rest of their life will hurt the economy more than would four years of tuition for someone working for the education to achieve success and contribute their tax money and time and effort to help make America, as a whole, a better place.
Opinion columnist Blake Mudd is a journalism freshman and may be reached at [email protected]