San Francisco takes stride towards free tuition

By Siomara Germain – COPY EDITOR

College; a place many of people have had both the best time of their lives and the worst. The research papers, group assignments, exams, social life, meltdowns, connections and the financial need are some of the things that makes college the best and worse experience one could ever have.  However, some people never had the opportunity to experience it or some people started to get the experience, but had it cut short.

One big problem: money.

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College tuition is increasing each year and the number of students attending college is decreasing each year. San Francisco becomes the first city in the United States to offer free community college tuition.

College is expensive. Currently, many individuals are not attending college because they are not privileged with the type of money one needs to have to be able to afford college.

Are you among those many people? Well, don’t worry because things are changing.

Recently, San Francisco became the first city in the United States to take the initiative to offer free tuition to San Francisco residents. This is a step in the right direction as tuition is continuously increasing each year.

Some students at The College at Brockport believe more cities should take the same initiative to provide individuals the opportunity to learn and work towards achieving their goals.

Brockport senior Emily Fleming thinks the expectations set by San Francisco’s free tuition initiative for students is a little flawed.

“Sure that’s good to provide free tuition to individuals, but California is also a state that faces bankruptcy,” Fleming said. “This means that people in California’s taxes would shoot to like 15 percent like in Europe, which is breaking their back.”

San Francisco’s plan would require the city to raise taxes on some people. Don’t worry, the city won’t be increasing taxes on the lower class; people who are already struggling as it is.

According to the NBC article, “San Francisco Announces Deal for Tuition-Free Community College” by Lucas Vazquez, San Francisco plans to raise taxes by .25 percent on individuals whose real estate properties are sold at $5 million or more.

If you are a part of the one percent and you are reading this, sorry, some changes are coming your way soon. But will you really notice the .25 percent difference in yours and your parents’ taxes?

“Oh yeah, tax them away. We should definitely be pulling from the one percent,” Fleming said. “It sounds great. I would love free tuition.”

Brockport junior Brianna Milon believes this is a great opportunity to open doors for underprivileged individuals.

“We need to start investing in our future and those who will be leading it,” Milon said.

This is wonderful news for people who could not previously afford college. This is their opportunity to reach for their goals. For some people in San Francisco, financial need will no longer be an obstacle limiting their ability to obtain higher education.

With this plan, the city is expected to see an increase in community college enrollment in both the upcoming months and year.

“I think it is a great step for any state to take and I would like to see New York follow suit,” Milon said. “It would make me feel more confident about my younger siblings’ ability to go to school.”

For those of you who don’t live in San Francisco and are thinking about moving to the city to receive free college tuition don’t go applying for City College of San Francisco just yet.

Why not? Well, you are going to have to wait a year. In order for someone to receive free college tuition in the city of San Francisco, they need to be a resident in that city for at least a year.

That is fair. So pack your bags and move over there because you will qualify February 2018.

There has been a lot of talk about New York City possibly providing college students the opportunity to obtain a college education for free, but nothing is set in stone yet. However, keep your fingers crossed because they might not let San Francisco be the only city in the U.S. to provide free tuition to state residents.

Now, let’s hope other cities around the Unites States follow these cities footsteps because a college education is a must for everyone who wants to have a career, not a job.

sgerm2@u.brockport.edu

@siomaraag

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