Two weeks ago, the last state in Germany removed its tuition fees and Germany once again became a tuition-free country.
To all of us paying tens of thousands for an education in the United States, standing up to our ears in student loan debt, this can seem like a dream come true.
If a reform is not made, and fast, obtaining a college education will become a luxury only the upper class will be able to afford.
Low-income students outside of major urban centers do not even apply to the top-tier colleges that they are eligible for because they don’t have the funds, according to a recent Harvard University study.
Tuition fees have steadily increased across the U.S. over the past decade, and has raised over 5,000 dollars for four-year universities. Public colleges are expected to continue increasing at a rate of 8.3 percent every year, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
This fee raise is added to the sliding funds from the US government, which are 23 percent lower than they were before the 2008 recession.
These increasing tuition fees are only making the education gap between the upper and lower class larger, which was the main reason Germany turned over the tuition fees.
It’s surprising that the U.S. ignores student’s cries for financial help, especially since they excessively promote that 22 out of 30 of the best universities in the world are located here, according to The World University Rankings.
A free university, however, still has to pay. There are professor salaries, building and maintenance fees, and housing costs.
Germany plans to pay for these things by creating an education tax, which many people are against, arguing that only those who go to college should have to pay for it.
At the same time, it makes sense to tax adults with jobs and homes rather than students who are too young and unskilled to find work—people who often struggle to pay the bills and even find a healthy meal.
We constantly hear the phrase “Children are our future,” but if this is the case, our future is thousands of graduates being evicted from homes and declaring bankruptcy.
The National Center for Education Statistics predicts that if tuition prices keep rising at the same rate, by the year 2027 the average tuition for a private university, such as K, will be $355,900, and that is without room, board, and books.
That said, if the United States disappoints again, Germany has opened its free-tuition doors to international students, so it’s time to start brushing up on our “Guten Tag!”