If you’re looking to receive a free college education, you may want to join the thousands of other students going to Germany, where the number of American transplants seeking free education is on the rise.
In 2014, over 4,000 American students were enrolled in German universities, a leap from just 2,000 in 1999. Today, an estimated 10,000 U.S students are studying in Germany. All public universities in Germany are free, besides the enrollment fees.
Exorbitantly high tuition in the United States is behind this trend; the heavy debt from student loans can take decades to pay off, leaving young adults strapped long after graduation. This begs the question: Why can’t Americans receive a free education when so many other countries offer it?
Opponents claim that free education isn’t what it seems. In other words, there’s a catch: taxpayers would be paying for it. In addition, people are concerned about the number of students that actually receive a degree. Only 59 percent of students graduate from four-year colleges. Of course, these numbers could change if college was free and people no longer dropped out for financial reasons.
Proponents of free education note that other countries achieve it without any issues. Along with Germany, France, Brazil, and Finland offer free education, as do others. A college degree increases earnings, which leads to an efficient economy. In the long run, the economy as a whole benefits.
Germany welcomes students from all over the world to get a free education. The goal is to attract talent from abroad. Lars Funk, a representative for the Association of German engineers, explained that “the current labor shortage in Germany could inflict lasting damage.” According to Funk, foreign students could help fill that gap. And since then, the problem has increased.
In 2015, Forbes magazine reported that 30% of millennials would sell an organ to get rid of student loan debt. Although this isn’t recommended, the response shows how desperate American citizens are to relieve themselves of crushing student loan debt. The number of American students studying abroad for a free education will continue to rise until there is a drastic change in the U.S education system.