Making college debt-free is a great compromise
In order for America to work, the masses must be educated — not crushed under debt (Link to Article

As the stereotypical college student, late nights are a part of my daily schedule. Whether it be the group projects, 10 page papers or the cramming for an exam I should have been studying for a week ago — staying up late happens. But, surprisingly, there are nights that I can get to bed at a decent time. Yet I still lie wide awake.

Sometimes it is the general stress of life or my racing mind, but more often it is the knowledge that I will have to face thousands of dollars in debt upon graduation.

So, it is great news to hear that Wisconsin lawmakers, along with 10 other states lawmakers, are attempting to come together to make college debt-free. One of those lawmakers, Rep. Katrina Shankland, D-Stevens Point, believes being able to graduate college with a degree debt-free is a crucial part of the American Dream.

“As the cost to attend college increases, the American Dream is out of reach for so many hard-working, deserving people,” Shankland said in a statement.

She couldn’t have been more right. Many will argue that “free” or “debt-free” college is not a constitutional right — and in a way they are right. But what they fail to notice is the fact that in order for, “a more perfect union,” in order for a democracy to work, citizens must be educated. If we want to avoid voting for people who shouldn’t be in office — cue the Donald Trump joke — everyone in the electorate must be informed.

As Thomas Jefferson once said, “An educated citizenry is a vital requisite for our survival as a free people.”

So many people in this country struggle to afford the education necessary for our country’s political system to work.

It’s a sad moment when I hear on the news that another politician is offering to make college free. I know that in today’s America this will never happen and the false hope that comes from these empty promises only elongates my sleepless nights.

Making college debt-free is a great solution and middle ground between the crazy ideas of keeping our current system and making college free. Maybe, just maybe if this legislation comes to fruition, I can get a good night’s sleep.

Luke Schaetzel (lschaetzel@wisc.edu) is a sophomore majoring in journalism and political science.