Chris LoCascio, a junior at UC Riverside, and a couple of his peers have a plan that will allow people to go to college for free. The only catch is students would have to agree to pay 5% of their income for 20 years after they graduate.
Like most other creative products, their ingenuity came out of need, the group’s need to address the tuition problem plaguing students at UC. After a roughly 18% tuition increase at their university, LoCascio as well as other members of the student body, were fed up with the financial toll that getting a degree had on college students. These students, with LoCascio at their head, formed the group FixUC to combat the rising cost of a college education. Instead of trying to make concessions within the current system of tuition, they came up with an idea to eliminate paying upfront tuition all together. Explaining the impetus for their proposal, LoCascio said, “We’re distraught with the lack of solutions that were being put forward.”
LoCascio, editor-in-chief of the university’s paper as well as the president of FixUC, first tried to address the tuition hikes by writing a number of editorials that expressed the students’ concerns regarding the increasing price of a UC education. It was only after publishing numerous articles that went practically ignored that LoCascio and the rest of the editorial board started thinking outside-of-the-box. So, they constructed a plan to drastically change their university if approved.
By allowing students to get their degrees for free, as long as they promise to pay a percent of their salary for a set time after graduating, students are basically getting an interest-free loan. One of the problems with the current method of paying for college is that graduating students start out their “adult-lives” in debt and then struggle to find the employment necessary to pay off the debt, as well as the amassed interest. With this idea, students would only be responsible for paying the university once they were able, aka employed. It would also let students that cannot afford college to begin with, or are too scared to take out a loan to do so, to get a college degree and then pay it off once they graduate. But for their plan to become a reality, the proposal needs backing from the university official and the rest of the student body.
To learn more about FixUC’s efforts and to see the actual proposal, visit http://www.fixuc.org/about/.