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Opinion

Educated citizens are good citizens. That’s why we need free college

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Students protest tuition hikes at a 2016 University of California Board of Regents meeting in San Francisco.
(Jeff Chiu / Associated Press)

To the editor: Indeed, we do have a blind spot when it comes to proposals for free college, and it’s not just about the problem of serving families that are well off financially. Namely, it has to do with the surprising statement by Democratic presidential candidate and South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg concerning a college degree’s earning power.

A college education is meant to educate. Having a nation of graduates who have been taught what values and issues are important would benefit the entire country. This isn’t about graduates’ ability to make more money.

I disagree with Democratic candidate Sen. Amy Klobuchar that our nation can’t afford free college for all. It might mean a cutback on other programs, but it would be well worth it.

Peggy Aylsworth, Santa Monica

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To the editor: College affordability can best be addressed by an arrangement called an income-sharing agreement.

Students promise a share of their future earnings in exchange for cash. These agreements are not a loan, since graduates who earn nothing pay back nothing. Repayments typically don’t begin until graduates make at least $18,000 a year.

Free tuition will only perpetuate inequity in higher education.

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Walt Gardner, Los Angeles

The writer is a retired teacher who blogs about education at theedhed.com.

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To the editor: Nowhere did I read how free tuition would be paid for.

What new taxes will be necessary? Will free tuition be good for four years or the six years that many students now take to get a degree? Will religious or for-profit schools be covered? What about foreign students who come to the United States?

This seems like nothing more than a vote-getting proposal with no actual deep thinking behind it.

Linda Forsythe, West Hills

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