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Give Low-Income Students Free College Tuition to Get into College

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We, the students of the California school system, support making California college tuition free for students with an annual income of less than $150,000, by 2020.

California’s college prices for Universities of California have exacerbated affordability by doubling in less than 10 years. But despite the growing the prices, California attempts to ensure its poorest residents that they can still afford to go to college, through attractive facades of loans. California has normalized student loans by continuing to represent loans as help for all students to go to college. But these facades are leading to debt. In March, the Federal Reserve recorded that US students had a debt of $1.2 trillion. Two thirds of new students in college have debt, averaging out to $35,000 per student.

The high prices of college persuade high-performing students to go to to schools in the UC system, which have more resources than the cheaper options. California state spends less than half as much money as a UC per student, and in community college less than than half as much as a UC is spent per student. The price of college is rising faster for low-income students than for higher-income students, which is disproportionate and unfair to the students.

New York is proposing to cover tuition for low or middle income students at colleges and universities. Tuition would be provided for any New Yorker accepted to a college or university, if the family earns less than $125,000 a year. The state would start with $100,000 in fall, increase to $110,000 in 2018, and $125,000 in 2019. Nearly 1 million families would qualify for the program. If the proposal passes, New York would become the largest state to offer tuition-free public higher education to residents. Tennessee, Oregon, and Minnesota have free community college programs. Arizona, Georgia, and South Carolina have financial aid, but it is based mainly on test scores and grades rather than income. Other states in America have been creating policies to help the low-income workers that want to participate in higher education, so California should accompany the rest of the country in the new reforms.

We ask that California makes college tuition free for students in families with an annual income of less than $150,000, by the year 2020.

This petition addresses the problem of unaffordable college prices. This problem began when the state began systematically pulling out money from from higher education. Funding was 32% of the UC budget in 1974, but declined to only 16% in 2004/2005.

Low-income students are affected because they can’t afford college, which stops them from improving their education. Without an advanced education, they cannot get a higher-income job, so low-income workers are left with unacceptable incomes. From the perspective of the low-income workers, college prices create an abstract roadblock in the paths of better education for many students. This reform will give low-income workers and families the chance to get higher paying jobs, with their new higher education. As a result of the higher incomes, families will not struggle to pay for food or housing. So lets create new opportunities for people that did not have the chance before.



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