Dear Senator Sanders,

I am in my third semester of college and I am debt free. No, I don’t have any help from the government. No, my parents are not paying for it. I am working my way through college. Let me be the first one to say, I’m not like many other millennials. I am not clinging to your every word and the empty promises that you make on a daily basis. The thought of free college does not sound appealing to me. Why? Because I know that it is too good to be true. As a full-time student with two jobs who also does volunteer work on the side, I am taking time out of my busy schedule to explain why your idea of “free college” is anything but a good idea.

First of all, nothing is free. The free things you promise are going to be paid for by taxpayers. I know you are familiar with taxes because you have said that you wouldn’t mind taxing the hard working people of our nation up to 90% of their income. How are high taxes fair to those who worked their way up the ladder of success, and earned their money through hard work? I am all about helping those in need, but please, let American citizens give out of love and generosity and not as a result of the forceful hand of the government. If you take a majority of the middle and upper class’ money, then what is the incentive for someone to ascend into these classes? I know that I, for one, would not have a strong desire to. What do taxes have to do with free college?  Everything! Believe it or not, something is not free if you have to pay for it – which is exactly what our taxpayers will be doing. According to U.S. News, free college brought by your “College for All Act” would cost the government, and taxpayers, 70 billion dollars per year. That is more than double what the government spends on pell grants each year.

I am also concerned that if  the “College for All Act” comes to pass, the attitude of entitlement will be perpetuated even more within our society. It is true that if we purchase something with our own, hard-earned money we will have a greater appreciation for it. For example, I bought my first car. I worked and made payments for five years. At the end of sixty months, the vehicle was mine. I now own it not because it was given to me, but because I earned the money to pay for it. As a result, my respect level for it is much higher.  The same is true of my college career. My education is not being handed to me, therefore, I take my studies very seriously. I know and understand the true value of the education I am receiving. If we want Americans to value things, they need to work for them.

Additionally, it would be much more difficult to be an active member of a workforce in which everyone has a degree. Landing my dream job will be less likely when I apply and there are 100+ other people that have been handed the same degree.

It would be wrong for me to write only about my reservations without presenting new ideas in place of  the “College for All Act.” I believe that we should make college more affordable, but not free. You must stop promising free lunches to this generation.  Let us learn that our goals can only be accomplished through diligence. Instead of attending a huge university as a freshman, encourage students to attend community colleges for the first two years.

People do not have to go to expensive universities. There are other ways to graduate without a mountain of debt besides “free college” and taking away the taxpayer’s money. In case you haven’t thought about it – us millennials are taxpayers, too. If the government is taking money away for people for “free college,” then we essentially end up paying for our degree, anyways. Education is a privilege, not a Constitutional right.

There is nothing wrong with hard work and big dreams.


A concerned millennial

Lauren P
FFL Cabinet Member
Lauren is a mid-west girl. She is majoring in public relations and serves as PR manager for her school's College Republicans chapter. You can find Lauren drinking coffee, watching Fox News, spreading the FFL message, or listening to music. She has a desire to travel and explore new places. She has a passion for the conservative movement and hopes to help young women realize that conservatism is empowering.

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