“Free college for all” is a giveaway not based on rational thought. The U.S. Department of Education reports a graduation rate after six years at four-year “open admission” colleges of 32 percent. Imagine what it would be if large numbers of students were there only because it was free. Fifteen percent? Those interested in a college degree can apply and at least attempt to get into college. At four-year colleges with a 25 percent or lower acceptance rate, the six-year graduation rate was 88 percent. These statistics reveal (what common sense tells us) that not everyone is college material; also, there is a lot of college money wasted currently.
Many young people don’t want to spend more years on institutional study. That reality should be respectfully supported for those who want to pursue a livelihood thatmeets their individual interests and abilities. Attempts to improve the U.S. educational standing
in the world can be accomplished, but not by misguided attempts to make everyone fit into what some people picture as the norm. Community colleges, trade schools, apprentice programs and on-the-job training offer needed preparation for many young people to take their place as productive citizens and workers.
Rather than throw money at the educational shortfall by offering free college, we should solve the problems of dysfunctional households and out-of-wedlock birth rates that feed the number of undereducated, unemployed and incarcerated populations in our country.
Socialism — a failure everywhere it’s been tried — is the wrong approach.
MELVIN “PETE” SNYDER
West Donegal Township