Hillary Clinton thinks we should work to pay for college, but can we?

‘Who wants to pay for college?’

Hillary Clinton recently met with The Des Moines Register’s editorial board, where she voiced her stance on college tuition fees. Previously Bernie Sanders, her opponent in the race for the presidential candidacy, announced a free college-tuition plan.

She said: “I am not going to give free college to wealthy kids. I’m not going to give free college to kids who don’t work some hours to try to put their own effort into their education.”

Throughout her university years, Clinton worked along with going to school. Now it seems she associates her college experience with today’s current tuition issue.

In order to provide a small peak into public opinion, we spoke to Hunter students on campus. We asked for their response, if any, to Clinton’s assertion that college students should be working.

 Connor, 18, Biology

Connor, 18, Biology

“I agree with Hillary Clinton because we are in an $18 trillion deficit. So adding on free tuition to everyone would break the back of the economy.”

Andrea, 21, Political Science

Andrea, 21, Political Science

“I think that she doesn’t understand the struggles that most lower income or middle class income families go through to pay for college. She tries to pretend that she does but she doesn’t. And if she wants to get young peoples’ vote then she really needs to try to understand that we are struggling to pay for college.”

Priscilla, 22, Undeclared

Priscilla, 22, Undeclared

“Man, the thing is, I would love free tuition but she may have a point. I don’t know. I mean, who wants to pay for college? The thing is, I do believe that it should be lowered considerably. I’m kinda half on half. (laughs) That’s gonna be a shitty quote.”

Nikki, 18, Psychology

Nikki, 18, Psychology

“I think that if college tuition is lowered then college would be more accessible. And if students were to work during their life as a college student, there would be more equality among students.

“There is a huge inequality among students who don’t work during their education. Like Ivy league students are able to focus more on their education and that puts them higher up than public school students, and that leads to this general inequality because students who need to work can’t spend as much time on their education.

“Ideally I think everyone should be able to dedicate as much time to their education as they could. But I don’t see how that could be realistic.

“I know Bernie Sanders has his hugely popular free college tuition idea but I don’t think that’s feasible. I think it would generally lower the quality of public education. And I think there would be more motivation to better yourself as a student if you were to work for your own education as well. Rather than if it was just handed to you.”

Salma, 19, English

Salma, 19, English

“That’s just another example of her exercising her white privilege. Because not every person can really get a job while they’re in school.”

Jacob, 19, Undeclared

Jacob, 19, Undeclared

“There should be free college tuition. I think Hillary Clinton is unrealistic in her expectations.”

Allie, 27, Undeclared/Anthropology

Allie, 27, Undeclared/Anthro

“I think the economy is in a different place now than when Hillary Clinton went to college. And that the job market isn’t as dense, so kids get out of college and don’t necessarily have the same opportunity as they had. I do agree with working and trying to support yourself. But I think that college tuition is just very expensive across the board and students do need help. Especially with all the people graduating that have insurmountable debt that they can’t pay back. So I think there could be probably a nice balance. It depends on how much you lower the tuition, I do believe students should be receiving aid.”

Daniela, 17, English

Daniela, 17, English

“I think everyone’s situation is different, she can’t really base her personal experience and base that on everyone else’s. I think that’s kinda wrong because not everyone has the opportunity to get a job. I think public education should be free, at least community college, because a lot of these students are struggling to pay for community tuition. Rather than private institution tuition. Yeah, I think she’s missing the bigger picture of the entire situation.”

Tenzin, 19, Biology

Tenzin, 19, Biology

“I don’t think it’s the right thing, because a lot of students depend on financial aid, especially TAP. And we get TAP from New York State. There are a lot of undocumented immigrants. So they also deserve financial aid support from government. And since they are undocumented, that’s the only financial support they can rely on.”

Peter, 21, Economics

Peter, 21, Economics

“As an economics major that just seems sort of ridiculous, right? I mean the whole point of education is to invest in youth. Why not invest in them for four years so that they can create sustainable productive work. Then they can pay back with their loans using an increased income.

“It just seems ridiculous that you’re going to enforce them to do what? Flip burgers. Stack fries. And if there weren’t college students doing that, it would encourage a livable wage for those people. And those are people we value everyday so I don’t look down on them.

“I don’t know, it just seems like sort of a privileged ridiculous view. And I know she came from a rich family so she may have been working but I know she got something on the side.”

Peter returned minutes after our first encounter with an add-on to his statement:

“There is no job a college student could get that would cover any living cost expenses and pay down tuition in any reasonable amount, even to reduce interest payments after they start working college. It’s not even mathematically possible. There’s just no job they could get or hours they could work to make a dent  in their college tuition, which they probably had to take out an expensive loan to pay for in the first place because they’re so inflated in the United States.”

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